Anne CANOVI will defend her thesis on October 25, 2023, at 10:00 a.m., in the J-P.DOM lecture hall of the IMS Laboratory on the subject : Effects of 5G environmental RF signals on the electrical activity of neurons in culture.
With rapid technological advances, the population is increasingly exposed to radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic fields (EMF). These electromagnetic waves, emitted by wireless devices such as mobile phones, relay antennas, Wi-Fi equipment, and many others, have become an integral part of our daily lives. The potential effects of these RF-EMF radiations on human health have raised concerns for the last two decades. So far, the only established effects of RF fields are related to the heating of biological tissues. To protect people against these adverse thermal effects, exposure limits have been established for wireless communications devices. Research is now focused on exploring non-thermal biological effects, especially on the central nervous system (CNS). Indeed, the CNS could be one of the primary targets of RF exposure due to the proximity between the mobile phone and the brain during phone calls, as well as the excitable nature of neurons. Recently, the fifth generation (5G) of wireless communication was designed to improve on the fourth generation (4G) by offering higher data rates. To avoid network saturation, two new frequency bands have been attributed to 5G technology: the 3.5 GHz band is currently being deployed, and the 26 GHz band will be deployed in the future. In this context, my thesis project aims to evaluate the impact of the new 5G signals at 3.5 GHz on the electrical activity of cultured neurons. Our approach relies on the proven use of an experimental bench coupling electrophysiology and RF exposure. To measure neuronal activity in real-time, primary rat neuron cultures are performed on microelectrode arrays (MEA). These MEAs are then placed in an exposure system, which is an open transverse electromagnetic (TEM) cell, to allow uniform exposure to the 5G signals.
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