Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Magnetic Blood Cleaning

PostedJuly 12, 2009

Download File (mp3)

Randy Atkins: Large amounts of bacteria or fungi teeming through your blood can overwhelm slow-acting antibiotics.  Donald Ingber, of Harvard University and Boston’s Children’s Hospital, is engineering a faster treatment.  

Donald Ingber: Using the power of magnets to pull something you don’t want in the blood out.

Randy Atkins: You’d be injected with incredibly tiny magnets attached to antibodies that seek out the germs.  Ingber says all your blood would then be run through a machine…

Donald Ingber: We’re designing this so that it fits into existing systems that are used in the hospital every day.

Randy Atkins: …slightly re-engineered with a precisely-tuned magnet that plucks out the newly-magnetized microbes and returns the cleansed blood to your body.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, 103-point-5 F-M and WTOP-dot-com.




  • The Ingber Lab at Children's Hospital, Boston
  • The Wyss Institute at Harvard