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Exp Eye Res. 1987 Sep;45(3):357-73.

In vitro studies of microwave-induced cataract. II. Comparison of damage observed for continuous wave and pulsed microwaves.

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Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Western Ontario, Canada.


Depth of damage caused by pulsed (PU) and continuous wave (CW) microwaves was estimated by scanning electron microscopy in rat lenses fixed immediately, after irradiation in vitro in circulating thermostatically controlled buffered saline. Pulses of 10 microseconds width and 24 kW peak power were delivered to the lens at different repetition rates in order to permit the same total energy to be delivered during 6, 20 or 60 min of irradiation at specific absorption rate (SAR) values of 0, 5.75, 11.5, 23, 69, 231 and 750 mW g-1; total energy [power (pow) x time] deposited in the lens was 0, 0.23, 0.46, 1.38, 4.6, and 15 W min g-1. Damage (granular degeneration of cells at the lens equator) was measured at the apex of penetration of the degeneration. The depth of degeneration (dep) of Pu or CW was compared either: (1) by a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) for the CW data alone and the 11 combinations of (pow x time); or (2) by using two alternative models to fit the data, to permit experimental distinguishment between: (a) reciprocal effects of pow x time; and (b) separate effects. Using the ANOVA analysis, the Pu mode of irradiation resulted in more damage at the same average power for every combination tested except one (23 mW g-1, 6 min). Although the separate-effects models explained more of the variation in depth of damage, the reciprocal effects model may provide an adequate fit for practical purposes and has the advantage of greater simplicity. For both models, the pulsed irradiation mode produced 4.7 times the depth of damage caused by CW irradiation. These results are discussed in relation to previous Pu-CW comparisons. It is proposed that this additional damage at the same average power is caused by thermoelastic expansion (TEE).

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