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Medical/biological Study (experimental study)

The effect of pulsed 900-MHz GSM mobile phone radiation on the acrosome reaction, head morphometry and zona binding of human spermatozoa. med./biol.

By: Falzone N, Huyser C, Becker P, Leszczynski D, Franken DR
Published in: Int J Androl 2011; 34 (1): 20 - 26 ( open external web page PubMed Entry , open external web page Journal web site )

Aim of study (according to author)
The objective of the study was twofold: 1) to investigate the effect of radiofrequency electromagnetic field exposure on sperm head morphometry and the acrosome response and 2) to evaluate the consequence of exposure on the spermatozoa's zona pellucida-binding capacity.
Background/further details:
Semen samples were collected from 12 healthy donors. Spermatozoa were investigated immediately, 2 h and 24 h after exposure.


General category: mobile communication system, digital mobile phone, GSM, PW (pulsed wave)

Field characteristicsParameters
900 MHz
exposure duration: continuous for 1 h
SAR: 2 W/kg

FIELD View further expo parameters

Exposed system:

Endpoint/Measurement parameters/Methodology

investigated material: spermatozoa

time of investigation: after exposure

Main outcome of study (according to author)
The irradiation did not affect the acrosome reaction. The analysis of morphometric parameters revealed a statistically significant reduction in all the morphometric parameters of exposed sperm samples compared with unexposed controls. There was a statistically significant reduction in zona pellucida binding in exposed sperms compared with that in controls.
The authors conclude that although radiofrequency electromagnetic field exposure did not adversely affect the acrosome reaction, it had a significant effect on sperm morphometry. In addition, a significant decrease in sperm binding to the hemizona was observed. These results could indicate a significant effect of radiofrequency electromagnetic field on sperm fertilization potential.

(Study character: medical/biological study, experimental study, full/main study)

Study funded by

  • National Research Foundation (NRF), Pretoria, South Africa
  • South African Bureau of Standards (SABS)

Published comments on this article:Related articles i
Glossary: acrosome, assay, biological, cells, digital, donors, electromagnetic field, endpoint, exposed, exposure, fertilization, FITC, flow cytometry, full/main study, GSM, healthy, irradiation, mobile communication, mobile phone, morphology, morphometry, potential, PW, radiofrequency, reduction, SAR, semen, significant, sperm, statistically, zona pellucida
Exposure: mobile communication system, digital mobile phone, GSM, PW (pulsed wave)

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