An engineer has discovered a way to filter unwanted blood cells using magnets. His tool might be able to be used in clinical trials within the next year.
The biochemical engineer knew there was the possibility to force magnetic nanoparticles to bind to specific cells found in the body. However, while other researchers did so mainly to make those cells available in images, he wondered if the identical technique could allow doctors to remove cells that were unwanted from blood.
When a person has a tumor it is cut out. Cancer of the blood is a tumor in the blood so why could it not be taken out the same way?
MediSieve was created which is a treatment technology that works very much like dialysis through removing blood from a patient and infusing it with magnetic nanoparticles which are made to bind to a particular disease. Then it uses magnets to draw out and then trap the cells prior to pumping the blood that has been filtered back into the patient.
The thought is that doctors could run a patient’s blood through the machine many times until their levels of the disease are low enough to be wiped out by medicine or even by the patient’s very own immune system.
The team is now waiting approval to trial their system on patients infected with malaria which is naturally magnetic due to its consumption of its own iron based waste product.
In theory, anything could be gone after. Pathogens, poisons, bacteria, viruses and anything that can be specifically bound to can be removed. It is a very powerful possible tool.