Mouse embryo 3T3 cells were irradiated with 2450 MHz continuous and low frequency (16 Hz) square modulated waves of absorbed energy ranging from 0.0024 to 2.4 mW/g. The low frequency modulated microwave irradiation yielded more morphological cell changes than did the continuous microwave fields of the same intensity. The amount of free negative charges (cationized ferritin binding) on cell surfaces decreased following irradiation by modulated waves but remained unchanged under the effect of a continuous field of the same dose. Modulated waves of 0.024 mW/g dose increased the ruffling activity of the cells, and caused ultrastructural alteration in the cytoplasm. Similar effects were experienced by continuous waves at higher (0.24 and 2.4 mW/g) doses.