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Magnetic beads help clear the blood of pathogens

This is a novel idea.

"Biologist Donald E. Ingber of Harvard Medical School, his postdoctoral fellow Chong Wing Yung and their colleagues have devised a way to filter pathogens from the blood of septic patients using micron-size magnetic beads. In their model system, beads coated with an antibody that binds to sepsis-causing bacteria or fungi mix with blood drawn from a patient. After the antibody-coated magnets have bound with the pathogen, they are pulled via a magnetic field into a saline solution that flows alongside the blood and sweeps them away. The filtered blood goes back into the patient. In tests using 10 to 20 milliliters of blood, the method removed 80 percent of the pathogens."

However some folks question whether thinning the ranks of the pathogen will improve the effectiveness of medication/treatment since fungal or bacterial infections can hide in areas of low blood supply.

 
 

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