Electromagnetic Fields and Biological Systems: BMG5330


Riadh Habash




Course Progress

Lecture: Monday (16:00 to 19:00: LPR 285)


January 6

Introduction to the Course

January 13

ELF Fields

January 20 Safety Standards
January 27 Project Proposal Presentations
February 03 Radio Frequency Fields; 5G, IoT
February 10 Project Progress 1 Presentations
February 24 Midterm
March 02  
March 09  
March 16  
March 23  
March 30  




The electrification and the industrialization of modern society have resulted in widespread of a large spectrum of energy and power, communication, and medical systems. Today, we look to electricity as a primary means of creating jobs and improving the quality of life. Though electricity clearly benefits societies in countless ways including those related to health, concern has been raised about the possible adverse health effects from its generation, delivery, and use.

This course support sustainability in electromagnetic energy systems, ensuring that impact on health and safety are highest priorities in the development of these technologies. The course will involve the development and application of techniques for building electromagnetic systems that promote health and characterizing health risks, as well as the analysis of options for managing those risks especially those related to electric technologies. The course will also emphasize the development of therapeutic systems, health awareness as well as risk science, an integration of fields that remains underdeveloped in Canada.



IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society

Committee on Man and Radiation










How dogs apparently defecate when their bodies are preferentially aligned North-South!



Frequently Asked Questions


1.    Electromagnetic radiations are electromagnetic waves in the electromagnetic field. What are the distinct features of electromagnetic radiation and electromagnetic fields apart from frequencies ?

2.     Does both Electromagnetic field and Electromagnetic radiation are two forms of the similar thing or do  they  have a complete different phenomena ?

3.       Long time radiation exposure causes bioeffects. Does long time electric fields or electricity usage induce bioeffects ? If so is it necessary for us to limit the use of electric fields within the society to avoid ill effects ?  Does biological effects include any other disorders apart from cancer?

4.     What is Maxwell’s theory on biosystem interactions and why  is this theory complicated to apply in the biological systems ?  What are the biological hindrances in understanding the bio-interactions when it comes to the study of electric fields ?

5.       If the frequency is less, the penetration  of energy inside the body is high and if the frequency is high,the penetration of energy is less. Does it mean  that the thermal effects   affects only the skin cells . So does a man has a danger of cell mutations only on the epidermal layer ?  If it is yes, then EMR don’t pass inside the body into the tissue organs? But how does radiation causes breathing and swallowing problems inside the human ?

6.       Coupling process with the use of EMF is used in electromyography to analyse the muscle physiology which utilises induced currents .Similarly what are the functions/applications of  thermal noise and endogenous fields in the field of biomedical engineering ?

7.      Electromagnetic radiation causing reduction in the melatonin causes a lot of damage to the human body. How melatonin reduction occurs ? If one can quantify the levels of melatonin reduction according to the radiation exposure ,then is it possible to conclude that electromagnetic radiations are harmful ?

Note : Childhood cancer leukemia is proven to be evident in the epidemiological studies .Melatonin levels are really high in children and the rate of melatonin production reduces significantly as the age progresses .Higher levels of melatonin in children might be a reason for childhood cancer leukemia to be evident in those statistical studies.


8.       What is specific absorption rate (SAR) and on what basis it is calculated to determine the thermal effects of electromagnetic radiation ?

9.      What is the difference  between diathermia, hyperthermia and themal ablation. All of them are based on increasing temperature from the cell  normal body temperature to a temperature exceeding upto 45C. Does it have the potential to cause harmfulness to the body ?What are the benefits of using electromagnetic fields in the ablation techniques ? 

10.   What are the bolus that are used to enhance the drug activity in the surrounding tissues ? Does the usage of drug and bolus should possess any electric property to aid the therapy ?  What is the setup description for simultaneous and rapidly switched power application ?



Paper 1; Paper 2; Paper 3; Paper 4; Paper 5; Paper 6