Department of Chemistry, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
A combination of FTIR and UV spectroscopy is proposed as a novel technique for integrated real-time monitoring of metabolic activity and growth rates of cell cultures, required for systematic studies of cellular low-frequency (LF) electric and magnetic field (EMF) effects. As an example, we investigated simultaneous influence of periodic LF 3D EMFs on a culture of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (baker's yeast) cells. Amplitudes, frequencies and phases of the field components were the variable parameters. Electromagnetic fields were found to efficiently control the activity of the yeast cells, with the resulting CO(2) production rates, as monitored by FTIR spectroscopy, varying by at least one order of magnitude due to the field action. Additionally, population dynamics of the yeast cells was monitored by UV absorption of the yeast culture at λ(prob) = 320 nm, and compared to the CO(2) production rates. The detected physiologically active frequencies are all below 1 kHz, namely, 800 Hz excitation was effective in reducing the metabolic rates and arresting cell proliferation, whereas 200 Hz excitation was active in accelerating both cell proliferation and overall metabolic rates. The proposed methods produce objective, reliable and quantitative real-time results within minutes and may be used in various tasks that could benefit from a rapid feedback they provide in the form of metabolic and growth rates. Amplitude and frequency dependences of the LF EMF effects from individual field components with different polarizations were recorded and qualitatively interpreted based on a simple model, describing ion diffusion through a membrane channel.