What a fascinating idea

The theory is most fun:

Deadly conditions like leukaemia, sepsis and malaria could be drawn from the body using magnets, after a British engineer designed a blood filtering system which sieves away disease.

Dr George Frodsham, came up with the idea while studying how magnetic nanoparticles can be made to bind to cells in the body, to allow, for example those cells to show up on scanners.

But he realised that if it was possible to magnetise cells for imaging, it should also be possible to then suck them out of the blood.

In theory, any bacterial infection, blood cancer, or virus that could be grabbed by a tiny magnetic particle could be removed from the body without the need for lengthy treatments with harsh drugs.

If you can preferentially mark or magnetise the bad stuff then yes, you’ve just created a method of being able to filter by magnetism.

Now, whether it actually works usefully is another matter and it’s going to be fun to find out.

Obviously, they already know about the levitating frog and are aware that the red blood cells contain that iron which is affected by magnets….

10 thoughts on “What a fascinating idea”

  1. admittedly not equally interesting but because of the iron fortification they add to cereals you can float a cornflake on bowl of water and twirl it around with a magnet.

  2. Interesting idea.

    Of course, the magnetic particle-tagged molecules aren’t harsh drugs at all, no siree.

    Red blood cells are not bothered by magnets – you need multiple atoms of iron, all lined up in some special way, to have a magnet, and heme contains only 1 atom of iron. For the same reason I am skeptical of Mr Hallowed’s flaky claim.

    If it weren’t the case, you would explode every time you went in an MR scanner.

  3. Wait for this to be hailed as a triumph for ley lines or homeopathy, who will all conveniently ignore the nanoparticles.

  4. My Dad had a spark of inspiration which changed dialysis machines from room-sized equipment to suitcase sized. Can’t remember the details as I was five at the time, but I remember proudly watching him on the TV news trying to explain the concepts to bemused news presenters.

  5. Riffing off of BiG & Rob’s comments, if it was true of red blood cells then those magnetic bracelets they flog in the woo shops would be a guaranteed way of getting a stroke inducing blood clot.

  6. The problem is in the accurate tagging, which we haven’t yet managed to achieve in vivo.

    Once we’ve taken that particular hurdle, there’s already a host of promising treatments possible without messing around with magnets, which is in and of itself limited to blood-borne agents, and not applicable to stuff fixed into tissue…

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