Student Awards 2009: Manuel Murbach

EMF Risk and Exposure Assessments

Manuel Murbach


The initial projects of my PhD studies at the IT’IS Foundation comprise developing novel exposure systems for biomedical research as well as improving/enhancing our current systems. Highlights include novel RF exposure assessments for the C.elegans nematode on AGAR substrate (BioEM 2009 poster), and human epidermis layers on dermis samples to GSM900 signals in vitro, as well as human exposure to higher carrier frequencies and highly pulsed signals in vivo (BioEM 2009 poster and platform). The human sleep studies (currently conducted within the Swiss national research program, nfp57) will be enhanced this year for ELF magnetic field exposure of the subjects’ heads. The intention is to compare the effects of RF exposure with exposure to the ELF-pulsed magnetic signals that are identical to the modulation envelopes of the RF exposure.

The second part of my PhD research will focus on exposure assessment in clinical MRI environments. The goal of our ambitious project MRI+ is to derive scientifically sound guidelines/standards with respect to RF exposure for the safe operation of MR scanners (1, 1.5 and 3T) for patients with and without implants. This is necessary as the generally applicable international safety guidelines for RF exposure are exceeded during normal MR investigations and interventional operations. In order to operate the system beyond the established protocols/limits, novel procedures, testing and validations techniques must be developed. The various objectives of the project range from the development of comprehensive patient models through to the development of scanning parameter guidelines for the various classes of MRI scanners to optimize benefits/risks in MRI applications for patients and to prevent risks for workers.

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