A novel experimental system was used to investigate the localized effects of microwave radiation on bovine eye lenses in culture for over 2 weeks. Using this setup, we found clear evidence that this radiation has a significant impact on the eye lens. At the macroscopic level, it is demonstrated that exposure to a few mW at 1 GHz for over 36 h affects the optical function of the lens. Most importantly, self-recovery occurs if the exposure is interrupted. At the microscopic level, close examination of the lens indicates that the interaction mechanism is completely different from the mechanism-causing cataract via temperature increase. Contrary to the latter's effect, that is particularly pronounced in the vicinity of the sutures and it is assumed to be a result of local friction between the edges of the fibers consisting the lens. Even if macroscopically the lens has recovered from the irradiation, microscopically the indicators of radiation impact remain.
Copyright 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.