Investigation of the effect of microwave irradiation (2.45 GHz) on biological systems at constant bulk temperature
In this thesis the effect of MW irradiation (2.45 GHz) at constant bulk temperature was investigated on several biological systems. Studies on enzymatic activity revealed that MW irradiation could enhance the activity of trypsin, however the enzymatic activity of α-amylase and alkaline phosphatase towards the hydrolysis of starch and 4-nitrophenyl phosphate was not affected. We found that the incorporation of a BODIPY fatty acid (4,4-difluoro-5-methyl-4-bora-3a,4a-diaza-s-indacene-3-dodecanoic acid) into the cell membrane of PC-3 (human prostate cancer) cells was facilitated by microwave treatment at constant temperature. Also, microwave treatment while non-apoptotic, significantly increased the rate of reduction of MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) by PC-3 cells. Further studies revealed that MW irradiation (10 W, SAR: 700 mW/ml) could significantly increase the uptake of an anticancer drug (doxorubicin) by PC-3 and MCF-7 (human breast cancer) cells at constant bulk temperature. Studies on bacterial growth revealed that MW irradiation could significantly decrease the growth of Escherichia coli at constant bulk temperature and the impact appeared to be transient. A 2D-gel electrophoresis-based proteomic analysis revealed that the expression of a series of proteins likely involved in metabolism was affected by the exposure to the MW irradiation. Overall, the results demonstrated in this study provided additional evidence for the “microwave-specific effects” that are capable of altering the behaviour of biological systems in a way that is quite different from conventional heating (through conduction). Appropriate interpretations of these observations have to also consider the possibility of local heating and/or micro-hotspot formation during MW irradiation. In this respect, the “microwave-specific effects” may not be interpreted either entirely or partially as non-thermal in nature.