In a previous post, we debunked the myths around magnetic therapy and blood flow and explained why iron (Fe) in the blood in not attracted to a magnet field.
The scientific principles around iron in haemoglobin have now made it possible to simply detect the malaria parasite using a combination of magnetic fields and laser light. Many clinics use LLLT (Low Level Laser Therapy) in the treatment of pain which can be very effective and possibly improved by using Q magnets in conjunction as a “take home” therapy. So it’s great news to see magnetic fields and laser combine once again, this time as a diagnostic tool.
As you know, haemoglobin in red blood cells contains iron and is the carrier used to transport life giving oxygen around the body. The malaria parasite digests haemoglobin as a food source, but the isolated heme component which contains the iron is toxic. So the parasite cleverly converts the heme into an insoluble rod like crystal called hemozoin.
Hemozoin crystals are found to exhibit a high level of both magnetic anisotropy and optical dichroism, as a consequence, they can simultaneously act as magnetically driven micro-rotors and spinning polarizers in suspensions.
In simple terms the hemozoin crystals, which are a by-product of the malaria parasite can be aligned in a magnetic field and detected by passing a laser beam through the solution.
Quite remarkable, see here for references and links…
Butykai, A et al. Malaria pigment crystals as magnetic micro-rotors: key for high-sensitivity diagnosis: Sci Rep. 2013;3:1431
Newman, Dave M. et al. A Magneto-Optic Route toward the In Vivo Diagnosis of Malaria: Preliminary Results and Preclinical Trial Data: Biophys J. Jul 15, 2008; 95(2): 994–1000.
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