Passive microwave radiometry (MWR) is a measurement technique based on the detection of passive radiation in the microwave spectrum of different objects. When in equilibrium, this radiation is known to be proportional to the thermodynamic temperature of an emitting body. We hypothesize that living systems feature other mechanisms of emission that are based on protein unfolding and water rotational transitions. To understand the nature of these emissions, microwave radiometry was used in several in vitro experiments. In our study, we performed pilot measurements of microwave emissions from egg whites during denaturation induced by ethanol. Egg whites comprise 10% proteins, such as albumins, mucoproteins, and globulins. We observed a novel phenomenon: microwave emissions changed without a corresponding change in the water’s thermodynamic temperature. We also found striking differences between microwave emissions and thermodynamic temperature kinetics. Therefore, we hypothesize that these two processes are unrelated, contrary to what was thought before. It is known that some pathologies such as stroke or brain trauma feature increased microwave emissions. We hypothesize that this phenomenon originates from protein denaturation and is not related to the thermodynamic temperature. As such, our findings could explain the reason for the increase in microwave emissions after trauma and post mortem for the first time. These findings could be used for the development of novel diagnostics methods. The MWR method is inexpensive and does not require fluorescent or radioactive labels. It can be used in different areas of basic and applied pharmaceutical research, including in kinetics studies in biomedicine.
I. Goryanin, L. Ovchinnikov, S. Vesnin