What do you think if we can use magnets to suck out deadly pathogens, such as bacteria that cause blood infections, malaria parasites or Ebola virus? The good news is that it will come true, after an English engineer successfully developed his magnetically integrated dialysis system.
In his newly published research, Dr. George Frodsham came up with the idea of attaching magnetic nanoparticles to pathogens. Thanks to this, he can use a magnet system in the dialysis machine to suck these pathogens and magnetic particles out, returning healthy blood cells to the patient.
Theoretically, this method can be used to treat a variety of bacterial and viral illnesses. It can also be used to filter out blood cancer cells.
The pathogen removal technology, called MediSieve, is currently planned for human trials next year. The first target that the scientists targeted was malaria patients. If successful, it will be tested against other viral or bacterial diseases, blood infections and autoimmune diseases by 2021.
"In theory, you can filter out almost anything. Toxins, pathogens, bacteria, viruses, anything that can stick to seeds from us can be removed. So it is a very potential tool. ”, Dr. Frodsham, CEO of MediSieve, company spin-off from University College London (UCL), said.
"When someone has a cancerous tumor, you will need to have it removed. Blood cancer is actually tumors in the blood, so why don't you take it out this way? Now we know it can come true. ”
MediSieve's magnetic-based pathogen filtration system works similarly to a conventional dialysis machine. With it, doctors will need to gradually drain the blood in the patient's circulatory system, then add magnetic nanoparticles. Each type of nanoparticles is designed to stick to a specific pathogen.
Using a magnet, the magnetic particles attached to the pathogen will be trapped and discarded. The cleansed blood is then transferred back to the patient's body.
These circulatory cycles can be performed over and over again, until the pathogen load in the patient's bloodstream is too low to be destroyed by the immune system or a short course of medications. day.
Scientists expected that such a treatment would last only 2-4 hours. A patient may be treated as many episodes as needed.
A magnet machine can pull all germs out of the body, from bacteria, viruses to cancer.
Studying the pathology knowledge base, MediSieve scientists found their technology had a set of potential test candidates. Those are malaria patients. This is because the malaria parasite will naturally magnetize when it enters the body and targets iron-rich red blood cells.
"Malaria parasites invade red blood cells and consume hemoglobin. It then leaves behind a by-product of iron, which the parasite will eat back into the body. It can be said that the stool of a malaria parasite is magnetic and after the parasite feeds on its faeces it is also magnetic.”Explains Dr. Frodsham.
The fact that the malaria parasite itself magnetically enters the body will help MediSieve save the first step in its method, eliminating the need to inject magnetic particles anymore. Talking about the success rate of this technology, Dr. Frodsham said:
We can never reach 100% in technologies like this. But you can expect 99% of germs to be eliminated. With the remaining amount of parasites, the body's immune system will do its job to eliminate them. Or when needed, we can give patients a short course of treatment.
Dr. is confident his machine can suck and filter out 99% of germs.
In addition to malaria, MediSieve is also expected to work on blood cancer patients, such as those with leukemia. Dr. Alasdair Rankin, research director of Bloodwise Blood Cancer Charity, said:
"Surprisingly, scientists from many laboratories around the world have spent decades using antibodies attached to magnetic particles to isolate different cells for their experiments.
Unfortunately, blood cancer cells are not just circulating in the blood. Some stay in the bone marrow and lymph nodes, and the only way to treat blood cancer like leukemia is to completely remove these cells – or the cancer will come back. ”
“However, this is an interesting idea – by removing cancer cells from the body instead of destroying them with chemotherapy given inside, this approach could reduce the need for drug and limit toxic side effects”, Dr Rankin adds.