Effects of RF-EMF Exposure from GSM Mobile Phones on Proliferation Rate of Human Adipose-derived Stem Cells: An In-vitro Study

J Biomed Phys Eng. 2016 Dec 1;6(4):243-252. eCollection 2016 Dec.


Background: As the use of mobile phones is increasing, public concern about the harmful effects of radiation emitted by these devices is also growing. In addition, protection questions and biological effects are among growing concerns which have remained largely unanswered. Stem cells are useful models to assess the effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) on other cell lines. Stem cells are undifferentiated biological cells that can differentiate into specialized cells. Adipose tissue represents an abundant and accessible source of adult stem cells. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of GSM 900 MHz on growth and proliferation of mesenchymal stem cells derived from adipose tissue within the specific distance and intensity.

Materials and methods: ADSCs were exposed to GSM mobile phones 900 MHz with intensity of 354.6 µW/cm2 square waves (217 Hz pulse frequency, 50% duty cycle), during different exposure times ranging from 6 to 21 min/day for 5 days at 20 cm distance from the antenna. MTT assay was used to determine the growth and metabolism of cells and trypan blue test was also done for cell viability. Statistical analyses were carried out using analysis of one way ANOVA. P<0.05 was considered to be statistically significant.

Results: The proliferation rates of human ADSCs in all exposure groups were significantly lower than control groups (P<0.05) except in the group of 6 minutes/day which did not show any significant difference with control groups.

Conclusion: The results show that 900 MHz RF signal radiation from antenna can reduce cell viability and proliferation rates of human ADSCs regarding the duration of exposure.

Keywords: Global System of Mobile Communications; Proliferation Rate; RF-EMF; Adipose derived Stem Cells.