© Wyss Institute/Harvard University
The rat study shows a variety of pathogens can be 'pulled out' from blood that is circulated through the external bio-spleen.
A device that uses magnets to extract bacteria, fungi and toxins from blood could one day throw a lifeline to patients with sepsis and other infections, researchers say. They say the external gadget - tested so far in rats but not yet humans - might also eventually be modified to strip Ebola and other viruses from blood.
The device was inspired by the spleen, which can continuously remove pathogens and toxins from blood without first identifying the infectious agent.
The bio-spleen was developed to treat sepsis, or blood infection, which affects 18 million people in the world every year, with a 30-50 per cent mortality rate. The microbes that cause it are often resistant to antibiotics, and spread fast.
If the invention is shown to be safe for humans, "patients could be treated with our bio-spleen and this will physically clean up their blood, rapidly removing a wide spectrum of live pathogens as well as dead fragments and toxins from the blood," says study co-author Dr from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering . The cleansed blood is then returned to the circulatory system.
You can read the article in its entirety at : http://www.sott.net/article/285741-Bio-spleen-uses-magnets-to-clean-bad-blood
Source: Agence France-Presse