Summary: Researchers designed a new blood filtration system that uses magnetic nanoparticles to remove pathogens and cancer cells from the blood. Called MediSieve, the system works by connecting a patient to the same machine used for hemodialysis.
Original author and publication date: Virgilio Marin – May 11, 2021
Futurizonte Editor’s Note: What else will the nanoparticles do iside our bodies?
From the article:
The researchers are currently testing the technology on malaria, a life-threatening disease caused by a parasite. But the technology can also be used to treat other conditions, such as sepsis, leukemia, drug overdose and COVID-19.
“In theory, you can go after almost anything. Poisons, pathogens, viruses, bacteria, anything that we can specifically bind to we can remove. So, it’s a very powerful potential tool,” said George Frodsham, a British engineer and the CEO of MediSieve, the company he founded in London to develop and market the technology.
HOW THE NEW BLOOD FILTRATION SYSTEM WORKS
Frodsham developed the technology while studying how magnetized nanoparticles could bind to cells to make them detectable during imaging. He realized that if these magnetic nanoparticles could be used for that purpose, they could also draw cells from the blood.
Together with his colleagues, he created a blood filtration system that works just like hemodialysis, a procedure used to clean the blood. As blood exits a patient’s body, magnetic particles are infused into the circuit. The particles have antibodies and other binding molecules on their surface so that they attach only to specific targets.
A magnetic filter then captures the particles along with the target molecules. Meanwhile, other components of the blood, such as healthy blood cells, flow freely through the filter and back into the patient. During the two- to four-hour procedure, the magnetic particles stay outside of the patient’s body. (Related: Magnetic nanoparticles seen as effective material for stopping internal bleeding.)
The patient’s blood is processed several times to ensure higher levels of capture. Though the procedure does not remove all the target molecules, it reduces them to very low concentrations so that the immune system can take care of the rest.
“We can never get to 100 percent with something like this,” Frodsham said. “You can get to 99 percent so you can rely on the body to mop up the rest, or you will be looking to use alongside drug therapy.”