Hexapole takes medical grade magnets into a new era

November 1, 2009

"Q magnets have made a further break through in the design and development of therapeutic magnets for the treatment of pain" says Managing Director James Hermans.

There is a significant body of research that demonstrates the effect static magnets with steep field gradients have on nerve fibres. Steep field gradients are generated by the interaction of multiple poles in close proximity.

The pioneering work by inventor and neurologist Dr Robert Holcomb while at Vanderbilt Medical University lead the way in this field. Dr Holcomb's original design was comprised of four bipolar disc magnets arranged in an alternating +/-/+/- quadrapolar array (see below). The steepest part of the field gradient was where the four bipolar magnets made contact. Due to the physical constraints of the round discs it's not practical to arrange six bipolar magnets into a hexapole arrangement.

In 2008, utilising advanced techniques in magnetisation and a new design, James and Dianne Hermans developed a rare earth, neodymium Quadrapolar magnet within the one magnetic body. This meant that the steep field gradient was now generated along the entire boundary of the four poles.

Now in 2009, the Hexapole design has arrived - HF28-3. Instead of four alternating poles and four steep field gradient zones, there are now six. The consequence for the patient in pain is that there are 6 instead of 4 active areas of the magnet so there is a greater chance that the field gradient will penetrate the over-active and abnormally firing C-fibres that are eliciting the pain signal.

Common bipolar magnets put out a uniform field with a negligible field gradient. While bipolar magnets might be having different effects on the body, the research shows they have a minimal effect on interrupting the pain signal on afferent C-fibres.

James said..."While we have yet to conduct clinical trials on the hexapole design, we are reasonably certain that the greater area of field gradients will have a more profound effect on nerves and reducing pain. Initial trials with some of the physiotherapists and professional athletes we have provided them to has certainly confirmed this. There was also the case of the marathon runner with the tibia stress fracture".




Q magnet comparisons
Original Design by Dr Holcomb at Vanderbilt (1989). Q magnet Quadrapole Design (2007) Q magnet Hexapole design (2009)
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