The Power of Neodymium Magnets
How Fluid Mechanics & Plasma Physics May Help Cancer Patients
Ferrofluid is a liquid that reacts to a magnetic field. It’s usually made from a mixture of oil and tiny iron particles. A portmanteau of ferromagnetic and fluid, ferrofluid s a liquid that becomes strongly magnetized in the presence of a magnetic field. It was invented in 1963 by NASA’s Steve Papell as a liquid rocket fuel that could be drawn toward a pump inlet in a weightless environment by applying a magnetic field.
In addition to science, technology, and even art applications, ferrofluid is being tested in magnetic drug targeting.
This process would drastically decrease the necessary dose for a treatment down to a level at which there would be no adverse side effects.
Almost all applications in medicine exploit the extreme relative size difference between magnetic nanoparticles and living cells. The applications presented in this section make use of ferrofluids composed of iron oxide nanoparticles and are called SPION, short for superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles.
Magnetic Drug Targeting
In this process the drugs would be enclosed by a layer of ferrofluid in some way. The combination would be injected into an area of the patient’s body that required the drug treatment. The drugs would then be held in the desired location by a magnetic field and allowed to act for a time period (approximately 1 hour). The field would then be turned off and the drugs would be allowed to disperse through the body.
This process would drastically decrease the necessary dose for a treatment down to a level at which there would be no adverse side effects once the drug is released from the magnetic field. The motivation behind this type of treatment is for it to be used for drugs with adverse side effects, i.e. chemotherapy.
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