Absence of nonlinear responses in cells and tissues exposed to RF energy at mobile phone frequencies using a doubly resonant cavity

Christine Kowalczuk*, Gemma Yarwood, Roger Blackwell, Marisa Priestner, Zenon Sienkiewicz, Simon Bouffler, Iftekhar Ahmed, Raed Abd-Alhameed, Peter Excell, Vildana Hodzic, Christopher Davis, Robert Gammon, Quirino Balzano

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


A doubly resonant cavity was used to search for nonlinear radiofrequency (RF) energy conversion in a range of biological preparations, thereby testing the hypothesis that living tissue can demodulate RF carriers and generate baseband signals. The samples comprised high-density cell suspensions (human lymphocytes and mouse bone marrow cells); adherent cells (IMR-32 human neuroblastoma, G361 human melanoma, HF-19 human fibroblasts, N2 a murine neuroblastoma (differentiated and nondifferentiated) and Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells) and thin sections or slices of mouse tissues (brain, kidney, muscle, liver, spleen, testis, heart and diaphragm).Viable and non-viable (heat killed or metabolically impaired) samples were tested. Over 500 cell and tissue samples were placed within the cavity, exposed to continuous wave (CW) fields at the resonant frequency (f) of the loaded cavity (near 883 MHz) using input powers of 0.1 or 1mW, and monitored for second harmonic generation by inspection of the output at 2f. Unwanted signals were minimised using low pass filters (≤1 GHz) at the input to, and high pass filters (≥1 GHz) at the output from, the cavity. A tuned low noise amplifier allowed detection of second harmonic signals above a noise floor as low as -169 dBm. No consistent second harmonic of the incident CW signals was detected. Therefore, these results do not support the hypothesis that living cells can demodulate RF energy, since second harmonic generation is the necessary and sufficient condition for demodulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)556-565
Number of pages10
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


  • Demodulation
  • Interaction mechanisms
  • Non-thermal effects


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