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The Role of Magnets in the Medical Field

Introduction

Magnets have wide applications from households to businesses. You can find them on your fridge or your mobile phone. These magnetic devices generate, utilize, or detect magnetic fields in traditional, medical, and defense industries. Let’s focus on magnets in the medical field with the following specific cases. Hope you can have a further understanding of magnetic apparatus used in the medical sector.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) is a non-invasive method that produces exact images of the organs, bones, and tissues of the human body for medical diagnosis and the following treatment. It has been used since the 1970s. From then on, thousands of lives have been saved because their abnormal tissues and tumors can be detected by MRI at an early stage. Basic Compartments of the Magnetic Resonance Imaging MRI System

Figure 1. Basic Compartments of the Magnetic Resonance Imaging MRI System

Figure 1. shows the basic compartments of the MRI system [1]. MRI creates detailed images of the human body with radio waves and strong magnetic fields.

  • Protons inside the human body are randomly arranged.
  • When the MRI scanner produces powerful magnetic fields, all the normal protons inside the patient align uniformly.
  • Then, the magnetic device sends radio waves, and all the unaligned protons alter their arrangement.
  • When the radio waves are turned off, related signals are sent back to the MRI scanner.
  • Patients would get an image of the part of the body being examined and further treatment.

Read more: Permanent Magnets in Magnetic Resonance Equipment

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

According to research published in Nature magazine in July 2020, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) alleviates the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. [2] The study had a group of 40 Parkinson’s disease patients with freezing of gait (FOG). The second group was 31 patients without freezing of gait, and the control group was 30 healthy people. At last, they concluded that rTMS relieves FOG by normalizing brain connectivity and mitigates other symptoms consequently. Figure 2. shows the schematic diagram of transcranial magnetic stimulation [3].

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Figure 2. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is used to treat a variety of neurologic conditions as well. TMS have magnetic fields, which are employed for brain stimulation to treat depression disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is also applied to improve stroke, migraine, and dementia.

Magnetic Therapy

There are numerous magnetic therapies for the treatment of arthritis pain, headache, insomnia, etc. These magnetic therapy devices can also be used for inflammatory conditions and wound healing. The Role of Magnets in the Medical Field

The Role of Magnets in the Medical Field

Magnetic Therapy

Figure 3. Magnetic Therapy

The utilization of magnetic therapy began quite early. For instance, magnets were employed on acupuncture points in ancient China. Natural magnetic minerals were utilized in the Middle Ages. Nowadays, magnetic girdles, belts, mats, and pillows with therapeutic effects are sold worldwide. You can also find pulsed electromagnetic therapy (PEMF) in the market which has been approved by the FDA. Yet remember to apply these FDA-approved magnetic therapies when conventional medicine doesn’t work.

Magnetic Drug Delivery

Magnetic drug delivery is of great significance for cancer diagnosis and treatment. With reliable magnetic apparatuses, these diseases could have better treatment efficiency, and there would be fewer adverse effects.   Lots of state-of-art magnetic equipment has appeared recently. For example, magnetic nanoparticles are developed for localized drug delivery for cancer treatment. These nanoparticles could carry the drug to the exact site, release the medicine, and fix the particles consequently.

Dentistry

Magnets are popular materials in orthodontics. They are most commonly to aid the retention of dentures and overdentures in dentistry. More recently, rare earth magnets have proven effective in securing dentures and in force systems for tooth realignment. You can also find small-sized magnets in dental devices. Stanford Magnets is a reliable supplier of magnets of different types and shapes. You can select suitable magnets for your dental devices. Send us an inquiry if you are interested. Related reading: List of Magnet Applications in Practical Life

Conclusion

Magnets are extensively used in the medical field, including magnetic resonance imaging, transcranial magnetic stimulation, magnetic therapy, drug delivery, and dentistry. Stanford Magnets has rich experience in the manufacturing of permanent magnets. If you want to know more about magnets, please visit our homepage for more information.

Reference: [1] Lafta Mossa, Hassanain Ali. (2012). Planning And Designing Of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Facilities In Baghdads Hospitals. Journal on Future Engineering & Technology. 7. 1. 10.26634/jfet.7.4.1872.

[2] Mi, TM., Garg, S., Ba, F. et al. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation improves Parkinson’s freezing of gait via normalizing brain connectivity. npj Parkinsons Dis. 6, 16 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41531-020-0118-0

[3] Wikipedia (2023). Transcranial magnetic stimulation [Photograph]. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcranial_magnetic_stimulation

About the author

Cathy Marchio

Cathy Marchio is an expert at Stanford Magnets, where she shares her deep knowledge of magnets like Neodymium and Samarium Cobalt. With a background in materials science, Cathy writes articles and guides that make complex topics easier to understand. She helps people learn about magnets and their uses in different industries, making her a key part of the company's success.

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