We describe an experimental set-up for exposure of small animals to radiofrequency standing waves that allows direct measurement of the power absorbed by the animal. Essentially, the set-up consists of a metallic box containing an antenna and experimental animal immobilized in a methacrylate holder; a signal generator feeding the antenna; and a power meter. In addition, the box can also contain a video camera to record the animal's behaviour, and a receiving antenna (connected externally to a power meter and a spectrum analyser) to detect alien radiation and harmonics. The absorbed power measurement trivially allows calculation of whole-body mean SAR from the animal's weight; and assuming local SARs to be proportional to whole-body mean SAR, the latter can be used to adjust organ-specific SAR predictions obtained by simulation using a commercial FDTD program with a numerical phantom. The use of the system is illustrated by application to rats given subconvulsive doses of picrotoxin to induce a seizure-prone state analogous to epilepsy: levels of the neuronal activity marker c-Fos in the frontal and piriform cortex of picrotoxin-treated rats exposed to 900 MHz GSM radiation were twice as high as those of unexposed animals.
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