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Now, magnets to reduce blood thickness, prevent heart attacks

June 8, 2011 - Washington

Temple University researcher has discovered that human blood can be made thin by subjecting it to a magnetic field, thereby reducing the risk of damaging blood vessels and heart attacks.

After testing the technique on engine oils and pipelines, Rongjia Tao, professor and chair of physics at Temple University is applying the magnetic field in reducing the viscosity of human blood in the circulation system.

Tao explained that since red blood cells contain iron, a person's blood viscosity could be reduced by 20-30 pc by subjecting it to a magnetic field of 1.3 Telsa (about the same as an MRI) for about one minute.

However, it was observed that when the magnetic field was taken away, the blood's original viscosity state slowly returned over a period of several hours.

"By selecting a suitable magnetic field strength and pulse duration, we will be able to control the size of the aggregated red-cell chains, hence to control the blood's viscosity," said Tao.

"This method of magneto-rheology provides an effective way to control the blood viscosity within a selected range," he added.

Tao claimed that the magnetic field method is not only safer, but also repeatable. He also added that the viscosity reduction does not affect the red blood cells' normal functioning.


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