Complex magnetic field exposure system for in vitro experiments at intermediate frequencies



In occupational environments, an increasing number of electromagnetic sources emitting complex magnetic field waveforms in the range of intermediate frequencies is present, requiring an accurate exposure risk assessment with both in vitro and in vivo experiments. In this article, an in vitro exposure system able to generate complex magnetic flux density B-fields, reproducing signals from actual intermediate frequency sources such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners, for instance, is developed and validated. The system consists of a magnetic field generation system and an exposure apparatus realized with a couple of square coils. A wide homogeneity (99.9%) volume of 210 × 210 × 110 mm3 was obtained within the coils, with the possibility of simultaneous exposure of a large number of standard Petri dishes. The system is able to process any numerical input sequence through a filtering technique aimed at compensating the coils' impedance effect. The B-field, measured in proximity to a 1.5 T MRI bore during a typical examination, was excellently reproduced (cross-correlation index of 0.99). Thus, it confirms the ability of the proposed setup to accurately simulate complex waveforms in the intermediate frequency band. Suitable field levels were also attained. Moreover, a dosimetry index based on the weighted-peak method was evaluated considering the induced E-field on a Petri dish exposed to the reproduced complex B-field. The weighted-peak index was equal to 0.028 for the induced E-field, indicating an exposure level compliant with the basic restrictions of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection. Bioelectromagnetics 34:211–219, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.