Magnetic Cleansing

No smoking, less oil, less salt and more excercise

Sepsis, a condition in which the body attacks its own organs in response to a microbial infection, kills 1,400 people worldwide everyday. The microbes are difficult to eliminate. Scientists have found a way to pull them out from blood: with a magnet. Tiny magnetic beads coated with antibodies are added to a patient's blood. The beads attach themselves to the microbes. The blood is run through a system in which two liquid streams flow side by side. One contains the blood and the other a saline-based collection fluid. As the blood flows, a large magnet placed near the tubes, pulls out the micro-magnets from the blood into the other fluid. The collection fluid is discarded and the cleansed blood flows back into the patient. The study was published in the April 13 issue of Lab on a Chip. When tested, the method removed 80 per cent pathogens from contaminated blood in a single pass.


Down To Earth, May 2009