2012 Best Student Poster: The Curtis Carl Johnson Memorial Award - Kyu-Tae Kim

Published on: Oct 18, 2012

1,763 MHz Radiofrequency Radiation Acts on Induction of Growth Factors via Cellular Signalling

BEMS President David Black with Kyu-Tae KimKyu-Tae Kim has been pursuing the fascinating study to reveal the potential biomedical phenomena of electromagnetic fields. As a PhD candidate supervised by Professor Woong-Yang Park at the College of Medicine, Seoul National University, South Korea, he has been eager to apply biological mechanisms in physical action of EMFs. 

One of his research projects is to investigate the biological effects of radiofrequency radiation, that was presented in 2012 BEMS annual meeting in Brisbane. This project was designed to verify the initial cellular reaction from mechanical stimulus of RF irradiation, based on his earlier work conducted in master’s course [1].  He previously found out 1,763 MHz RF irradiation could induce hair growth. Considering the social atmosphere concerning RF exposure, after newly announced carcinogenic classification for RF by IARC in May 2011, his work had a significance showing positive effects of hair growth without cellular harm at the specific exposure conditions. Induction of growth factors was observed in moderate exposure conditions (at the SAR level of 10-20 W/kg for 1-3 h exposure), not in lower (2 W/kg) or higher (60 W/kg) level of SAR (specific absorption rate).

From these findings, he called in questions for the reason of why that phenomenon was only observed in specific range of SAR, and the mechanism of how RF initially stimulated cells in physical ways and led cellular cascades of molecular reactions. To check the cellular response under RF radiation in real-time, exposure chamber was newly designed and manufactured with help from Professor Jeong-Ki Pack. After successful simulation of this chamber for the distribution of electric field and SAR, the response of interested molecules under RF radiation has been possible to observe. A part of the experimental results was introduced in Brisbane and he could get a lot of helpful advices from experts in attendance. Now he strives to expand his ideas further to capture the bio-physical interactions between RF and cells. As a summarized story, this study is expected to be prepared and introduced in next 2013 BEMS annual meeting.

[1] Yoon S-Y*, Kim K-T*, Jo SJ, Cho A-R, Jeon S-I, et al. (2011) Induction of Hair Growth by Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 in 1,763 MHz Radiofrequency-Irradiated Hair Follicle Cells. PLoS ONE 6(12): e28474. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028474 ( * co-first author)