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The use of neodymium magnets in medical care and its impact on health

The use of neodymium magnets in medical care and its impact on health

Issue Time:2015-02-16

The strong magnetic properties of magnets have led to their use in many modern technologies, as well as in the medical and dental fields. Neodymium magnet is a powerful magnet that has become the subject of recent research. This article briefly describes the definition, history and characteristics of rare earth magnets. In addition, a broad overview of the results obtained so far in the study of the effects of magnets, especially neodymium magnets on human systems, tissues, organs, diseases and treatments is provided. Although they are used in various diagnostic equipment and treatment tools in the health sector, there are still potential harmful effects and accident risks. This research is still not enough. However, neodymium magnets have broad prospects in diagnosis and treatment.


Neodymium is a chemical element that was discovered in 1885. This element (atomic number 60) has a silver-white metallic color and belongs to the lanthanide element, which is a subset of the lanthanide elements (atomic number 57-71). The periodic table oxidizes rapidly in the air. Lanthanides play an important role in the development of new technologies, such as wind turbines, electronic hybrid vehicles, and the defense industry.


In nature, neodymium does not exist in the form of metals or mixed with other lanthanides, but can be used for general purposes after refining, and has been mainly mined in the United States, Brazil, India, Australia, Sri Lanka and China.


NdFeB magnets were developed by General Motors and Hitachi in the 1980s. Because it provides high magnetic force even in small amounts, its role is becoming more and more important in the manufacture of strong permanent magnets composed of rare earth elements. In the field of information technology, neodymium magnets are especially used in video and audio systems for hard disk drives, mobile phones, and televisions.


Neodymium magnets are also commonly used in the production of magnetic separators, filters, ionizers, switch buttons, safety departments and safety systems. Grease filter manufacturers use neodymium magnets in metal separators to filter out iron powder in oil more efficiently. In addition, they are also very useful in covering machines, cars with awnings, and in the production of magnetic tool belts. They are also used in the production of jewelry clips, identification badges, and strollers that are secured to the basket by magnets.


The health department is another area where neodymium magnets are integrated into medical equipment (such as magnetic resonance imaging equipment), which can diagnose and treat chronic pain syndrome, arthritis, wound healing, insomnia, headaches and several other diseases (due to Its ability to generate static electricity) magnetic field. In the past decade, people have observed an increase in their use [2]. These magnets are considered to have a curing effect, so they are sometimes referred to as "magnets".


NASA uses neodymium magnets to maintain astronaut muscle tension during space flight.


Neodymium magnets have push-pull force and have been used as motion generating devices in orthodontic treatment. Molar distillation and lat expansion.


According to reports, the static magnetic field can stimulate bone formation through the differentiation or activation of osteoblasts.

Effects of neodymium magnets on health and medical uses
Cardiovascular system

In a study conducted in 2004, it was reported that laser Doppler significantly reduced the blood flow and skin blood perfusion (SBF) of the second and fourth fingers of the non-dominant hand of the neodymium magnet pole.


Another study showed that the neodymium magnetic field increases the microcirculation of the nail bed, although this study conflicts with other studies.


According to reports, the flow of red blood cells in skeletal muscle capillaries exposed to a strong static magnetic field is reduced. The microcirculation in the tumor is characterized by tortuous microvessels, chaotic structure, and unstable blood flow. One study reported that tumors treated with static magnetic fields had decreased blood flow and blood vessel density. In the same study, studies showed that platelet activation and adhesion increased in non-tumor skeletal muscle exposed to static magnetic fields. The magnetic field produced by neodymium magnets is believed to increase microcirculation, but the effect on this is unclear.


In one study, a special device was placed on the back of the experimental mice by surgery. One neodymium magnet is assembled on the device, and the other is assembled with non-magnetic disks of equal size and weight. The diameter of small arteries and veins in mice affected by the static magnetic field generated by neodymium magnets has been shown to be greatly reduced.


Another study conducted in 2015 was to cut and reconstruct the dog's portal vein. One group used traditional manual sutures for anastomosis, and the other group was covered with a ring composed of neodymium magnets. In the latter, recovery lasted for a relatively short time, and the intima was smoother and formed regularly than the former.


Bipolar ablation catheters, unipolar ablation catheters, and bipolar catheters with magnets have been tried in thick and tight tissues. In these tissues, it is difficult to form full-thickness lesions like the left ventricular wall. It was found that the thickness of the transmural channels and lesions formed by the magnetized bipolar catheter was higher than that of other catheters.

Neural system

Magnets can be used to generate magnetic fields in the study of neural electrical activity. In a study, the effect of the magnetic field generated by neodymium magnets on nerve damage was studied and applied to 17 healthy volunteers for 2 hours. Neuron-specific enolase (a factor that determines neuronal damage and S100 blood levels) was studied, and a test was conducted to measure mental ability. The test showed that the parameters tested on 17 volunteers were not affected by the magnetic field and seemed Neodymium magnets can be used to generate magnetic fields to ensure the safety of these parameters.


Recurrent transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) is a recognized and effective treatment for major depression. Synchronous TMS (sTMS) is an improved form of rTMS and has also tried to deal with it. A study conducted in 2014 showed that although the incidence of severe depression and patients receiving sTMS decreased by 48%, it decreased by 19% in the control group. This difference was statistically significant. Neodymium magnets are used in TMS to generate a magnetic field. In contrast to electroconvulsive therapy for severe depression, TMS does not require anesthesia. In addition, another study conducted in 2015 showed that the use of sTMS can effectively treat major depression.


Placing magnets on the upper and lower eyelids has achieved successful results in the treatment of blepharitis.


Alternative treatments including magnetic therapy have been studied for climacteric vasomotor symptoms, and they have been found to be ineffective in treating these symptoms.


In another study, to ensure the glottic aperture of the bilateral vocal cord paralysis, the magnet was placed in the sheep's throat in vitro, and the gap was enlarged. The device provides a suitable glottal aperture that benefits from the magnet and can be used in the future.

Skeleton, muscle, and joints system

The effects of neodymium magnet implants and non-magnetic implants placed in the tibia of rabbits on bone tissue were compared. The magnetic implant enhances the medulla and cortex around the bone tissue, and the increase in medulla is statistically significant.

In another study using the trabecular trabecular injury rabbit model, a magnetic stent was placed in the damaged region of the distal femur bone, and a cylindrical neodymium magnet (NdFeB) was placed in the nearby area. At the end of the experiment, it was found that NdFeB prevents micro-movement by keeping the magnetic scaffold constant, which is important for maintaining normal tissue regeneration.

In a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study, the curative effect of neodymium magnets on osteoarthritis symptoms was studied. Participants tried four types of wristbands. In the comparison process, magnetic neodymium wristbands were used as experimental equipment, and low magnification, demagnetized and copper wristbands were used as control equipment. The WOMAC Osteoarthritis Index, McGill Pain Questionnaire-Pain Score Index (PRI), visual analog scale, and drug intake were evaluated. Among these scales, only the PRI subscale shows statistically significant differences. The therapeutic benefits of the wristband can be attributed to the placebo effect. These devices have no major adverse effects and can therefore be used for placebo effects.

In another study, the difficulty of forming a control group to test magnetic bracelets solved the problem of providing weak control wristbands to the control group, because participants can test the strength of the wrists and may not be able to effectively relieve the pain of arthritis.

In a study investigating the role of static magnetic fields in carpal tunnel treatment, the effects of two different magnetic field levels on the median nerve were evaluated. In a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study, 12 weeks of observation were performed after 6 weeks of intervention. Participants diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome using electrophysiological tests wear neodymium magnets and non-disks all night long. A Boston Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire, Symptom Severity Score (SSS), Functional Severity Score (FSS) and four parameters measuring median nerve activity were used. These parameters include distal sensory latency, sensory nerve action potential amplitude, distal motor latency and compound motor action potential amplitude. There was no significant difference in median nerve conduction between SSS and FSS between the groups. Both groups of SSS and FSS recovered symptoms within 6 weeks. Symptom changes in disk groups and non-disk groups all occur in the same direction and size.

In two systematic reviews conducted in 2012, magnetic wristbands and several other alternative therapies were examined for arthritis, citing the lack of sufficient research on the subject and the conclusion that there was no consistent evidence that the drug Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are effectively treated.

In one study, the effect of static magnetic fields on delayed-onset muscle soreness was no different from placebo.

Gastrointestinal system

In a study conducted in 2012, neodymium magnets were used to fix colon tumors identified by endoscopy. In the process of laparoscopic surgery without using tools such as fluorescence or ultrasound, magnets are used to easily enter the tumor. Twenty-seven of the 28 patients (96%) successfully completed localization of obvious lesions during surgery.

In an animal study, the endoscope used a ring magnet to perform magnetic compression anastomosis (magnamosis) and placed it opposite each other in the target area. Magnets have also been used in humans through surgery. Between 2009 and 2011, 44 laparoscopic surgeries were performed on pediatric patients, including cholecystectomy, gastrojejunostomy, and splenectomy. Magnetic forceps were used to safely remove unwanted tissue in the surgical area.

Previous studies of swallowing magnets have documented life-threatening injuries, including fistulas and perforations, especially in children. In two studies comparing the number and size of magnets swallowed by children in 2002–2009 and 2010–2012, the number of cases involving more than one magnet increased, while the size of swallowing magnets decreased, but all cases required Surgical intervention. This result is attributed to the increased availability of children ’s magnets in daily life. These findings suggest that using magnets instead of safety pins may be particularly harmful to children. The North Atlantic American Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition Society advocated the ban on the sale of strong magnets including neodymium, but they said in 2014 that these efforts were not effective enough.

Magnet related injuries
In a case report published in 2015, the case resulted in measures to control the use of magnets in the workplace and pointed out that a 52-year-old man was injured when trying to use the neodymium-equipped equipment for experimental power generation. The magnet fell into pieces and hurt his face. The report further discusses the difficulties of using traditional tools to operate with strong magnets and the uncontrolled movement damage that such tools may cause. Therefore, it is pointed out that medical devices that are not sensitive to magnetic effects are also needed.
Orientation of iron-containing nanoparticles by magnets and their use in pharmacotherapy
Currently, magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles are used in several biomedical and neurobiological operations, such as those used to monitor and treat tumors.

One study reported that due to the magnetic field generated by neodymium magnets placed under the brain astrocytes, oxide nanoparticles became easier to attach to the astrocyte membrane and enter the cell.

Human stem cells in serum-free medium were used with neodymium magnets, and a certain amount of ferromagnetic nanoparticles (0.043 mg / ml) was added to serum-free medium at non-toxic levels, and observations were made daily. In this study, no effect on stem cell potency and proliferation was recorded.

In a 2014 study on pigs, neodymium magnets made the vascular stent magnetic, ensuring that the vascular stent could support endothelial cells supported by iron particles. This may lead to important advances in stent-related surgery, because accelerating endothelialization will reduce the risk of thrombosis.

An animal study published in 2012 showed that stem cells containing neodymium ferromagnets were directed into the target area of ​​the retina, again secured by neodymium magnets. This seems to be particularly important in the treatment of age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.

Nanoparticles loaded with cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agents can face the tumor. In the tumor area, the capillary permeability increases, and particles that cannot spread between cells can enter the tumor. This passage of nanoparticles can be enhanced by the orientation of the magnet.

In the experiment on aneurysm closure, a magnet placed outside the experimental rabbit was used to direct the circulating magnetic particles to the area for at least 30 minutes. Although aneurysm recanalization was observed after 12 weeks of follow-up, this is an important study that explores possible new methods of treating aneurysms.

Another study conducted in 2014 showed that sperm exposed to magnetic fields are more durable.
Use of magnets in dentistry
Magnets have also been used in orthodontic surgery. In the event of a tooth fracture, a magnet can be used to move the embedded root out in 9 to 12 weeks. The protruding roots can then be reformed by methods such as porcelain coating. Neodymium magnets can be used for coating because they are not resistant to corrosion and their strength gradually decreases.
To conclude, electronic devices are increasingly used in our lives. Fossil fuels are being replaced by renewable energy, which is an area where rare earth elements are increasingly used. These elements are used in electric cars and wind turbines. Although procurement challenges and high prices have led manufacturers to seek alternatives, rare earth elements are still used in many technologies. Due to the huge demand, the health and environmental impact of these powerful magnets must be addressed.

In this review, the history, definition and performance of rare earth magnets are briefly explained. In addition, based on the results of a rough examination of the research conducted so far, we have concluded that magnets, especially neodymium magnets, have an impact on human systems, tissues, organs, diseases and treatments. Although magnets have been used in various diagnostic equipment in the health sector and as treatment tools, magnets may be harmful to humans and increase the risk of accidents. Although not enough research has been done on the effects of neodymium magnets, they seem to have great potential in both diagnostic and therapeutic procedures.