Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Magnetic healing using tiny particles...

Relief in the healing power of magnets and magnetic fields has existed since the discovery of magnets several thousand years ago. In the late 18th century, Franz Anton Mesmer, an infamous charlatan, promoted the notion that he could heal with “animal magnetism.” In the 19th century magnetic healers were common – D.D. Palmer was a magnetic healer prior to founding chiropractic. Magnetic devices for everyday aches and pains have been increasingly popular recently, and today they are a multi-billion dollar industry.
Magnet therapy, magnetic therapy, or magnotherapy is an alternative medicine practice involving the use of static magnetic fields. Practitioners claim that subjecting certain parts of the body to magnetostatic fields produced by permanent magnets has beneficial health effects. These pseudoscientific physical and biological claims are unproven and no effects on health or healing have been established. Although hemoglobin, the blood protein that carries oxygen, is weakly diamagnetic (when oxygenated) or paramagnetic (when deoxygenated) the magnets used in magnetic therapy are many orders of magnitude too weak to have any measurable effect on blood flow.
Georges Lakhovsky published books and articles that claimed and attempted to demonstrate that living cells emit and receive electromagnetic radiations at their own high frequencies.
 In 1925 Lakhovsky wrote a Radio News Magazine article entitled "Curing Cancer With Ultra Radio Frequencies." In 1929 while in France he was the author of a book "The Secret of Life: Electricity, Radiation and Your Body" (French) in which he claimed and attempted to demonstrate that good or bad health was determined by the relative health of these cellular oscillations, and bacteria, cancers, and other pathogens corrupted them, causing interference with these oscillations. It was translated to English in 1935. Numerous depictions pictured in the book supposedly have Lakhovsky in a Paris, France hospital conducting clinical research treating cancer patients with before, during, and after photographs.
More recently, Dr Elena Rozhlova of Argonne National Laboratory in the United States, says subjecting the nanodiscs to a low magnetic field for around ten minutes was enough to destroy 90% of cancer cells in tests.
The researchers used a culture of glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive form of brain cancer, to test the nanodiscs, which are made from an iron-nickel alloy. When the nanodiscs were exposed to an alternating magnetic field of between 10 to 20 Hz, it caused them to oscillate, disrupting the membranes of the cancer cells resulting in cell death. The method uses magnetic fields only one tenth the strength of those of used in previous approaches, and at much lower frequencies, avoiding the negative side effects associated with higher-strength fields.
Previous research into the use of magnetic-nanoparticles have required high magnetic fields or resulted in the accumulation of particles due to permanent magnetisation of the particles which form into clumps in the body. The researchers say this new technique offers "exciting avenues for probing cell mechanics... as well as for advancing cancer therapies." In a commentary on the report, Professor Jon Dobson of Keele University in Britain says antibodies could be used to direct the discs towards tumour cells.
Alternatively, a team of University of Texas at Arlington researchers have developed a method that uses magnetic carbon nanoparticles to target and destroy cancer cells through laser therapy - a treatment they believe could be effective in cases of skin and other cancers without damaging surrounding healthy cells.
A paper about the work by Ali R. Koymen, professor of physics, and Samarendra Mohanty, assistant professor of physics, was published in January’s edition of the Journal of Biomedical Optics.
Because these nanoparticles are magnetic, the researchers use an external magnetic field to focus them on the cancer cells. Then, they use a low-power laser to heat them and destroy the cells beneath. Koymen said. “Since only the carbon nanoparticles are affected by the laser, the method leaves the healthy tissue unharmed and it is non-toxic.”
Carbon nanoparticles produced for the cancer study varied from five to 10 nanometers wide. A human hair is about 100,000 nanometers wide. Mohanty said the carbon nanoparticles can be coated to make them attach to cancer cells once they are positioned in an organ by the magnetic field. He said the new method has several advantages over current technology and could be administered using fiber optics inside the body. “By using the magnetic field, we can make sure the carbon nanonparticles are not excreted until the near-infrared laser irradiation is finished. They are also crystalline and smaller than carbon nanotubes, which makes for less cell toxicity,” he said. The magnetic carbon nanoparticles also are fluorescent. So they can be used to enhance contrast of optical imaging of tumors along with that of MRI, Mohanty said. Mohanty said lab tests also showed that the carbon nanoparticles and a cw (continuous wave) near-infrared laser beam could be used to put a hole in the cell, revealing another potential medical use. “Without killing the cell we can heat it up a little bit and deliver drugs and genes to the cell using low power cw near-infrared laser beam. This is an additional important novelty of our photothermal approach with carbon nanoparticles,” he said.
The idea of killing cancer with heat isn't new. Researchers know that, like normal cells, cancer cells start to die when the mercury rises above 43˚C. The trick is figuring out how to kill the cancer without harming the body's own cells. One promising idea, known as magnetic hyperthermia, involves injecting minuscule "nanoparticles," basically microscopic lumps of iron oxide or other compounds, into tumors to make them magnetic. The patient is put into a magnetic field that reverses direction thousands of times every second. The magnetic nanoparticles are excited by the applied field and begin to get hot, heating and potentially destroying the surrounding cancer tissue.
Because healthy tissue is not altered by the magnetic field, it does not heat up and is not damaged. Nano particles are expected to be the next miracle in medical science, the manufacture of magnetic particles requires a broad-range of skills. They include the targeting properties for specific cells. Also creating magnetic particles would cause clumping due to their magnetic properties. The future of nano particles will eventually enable wider applications for MRI enhancement and therapeutic heating for chemotherapy compliment or cell destroying for a tumour. The early days of using magnetic fields,had half the equation of having a positive effect on the human body. Seventy years from Lakhovskys research on magnetic fields, are now agitating particles for heating specific areas turning a pseudoscience in to a real working cure and diagnostic tool...

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