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Magnets Being Integrated Safely into Medical Devices

The incredible strength of neodymium iron boron (NdFeB) rare earth Magnets is opening up exciting new opportunities for surgeons and engineers working on the cutting edge to bring new care options to patients with difficult-to-treat conditions, from cardiovascular disease to cancer to gastrointestinal tract conditions. Incorporating NdFeB Magnets elements into sophisticated new medical equipment, like any new technology, necessitates extreme caution throughout development and manufacture.

Engineers must ensure that such technologies can be utilised safely for both patients and the doctors and nurses who care for them. ProPlate recently hosted a wide-ranging discussion with members of the Surgical Innovations programme at the University of California, San Francisco, to learn more about the effort to find new and better ways to treat children born with esophageal atresia, a highly debilitating congenital malformation. This effort has resulted in the development of a revolutionary new class of devices that use Magnets force and precision-engineered tissue-contacting surface designs.

The collaboration with ProPlate has been critical in moving this device development programme forward to the point where many patients have been successfully treated for esophageal atresia. The UCSF Surgical Innovations programme, one of the country’s premier medical institutions, and our team at Minnesota-based medical device specialty manufacturer ProPlate have been working closely together since last year to develop advanced NdFeB Magnets electroplating methods optimised for medical devices to prevent corrosion of potentially toxic elements in a highly productive collaboration that began last year.

Dr. Lauren Evans MD and Dr. Michael Harrison MD of UCSF will take part in the conversation. Dr. Evans is presently employed at UCSF’s Surgical Innovations Program as a clinical research fellow and at Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland as a paediatric trauma surgeon. Dr. Harrison is an emeritus professor of surgery and paediatrics at UCSF, as well as the Director Emeritus of the Fetal Treatment Center. He specialises in foetal surgery.

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