New Medical Equipment Uses Magnetic Field To Accelerate Muscle Recovery

  • A new machine named MRegen applies a uniform electromagnetic field to muscle cells to accelerate muscle recovery and improve muscle strength. 
  • In clinical trials, it did not show any sign of adverse consequences or discomfort. 

For years, scientists and biomedical organizations have been working on techniques to utilize magnetic fields for therapeutic purposes. Although generating a magnetic field is not a big deal, the ability to produce a suitable magnetic field that can trigger positive therapeutic effects is one of the most difficult tasks in the medical field.

Recently, researchers at the National University of Singapore showed a non-invasive medical device that can speed up the process of muscle rehabilitation in a painless manner.

They have been working on this instrument — named MRegen — for couples of years now. It works by generating a certain magnetic field that ‘tricks’ muscle cells into believing that they are exercising, and enhances the biological effect to accelerate muscle recovery.

MRegen

The researchers extensively studied how magnetic fields affect our muscle cells. To build a non-invasive machine, they combined two basic concepts:

  1. Muscle growth depends on energy production
  2. Energy management can be controlled via magnetic fields

Courtesy of researchers |  On the left is assistant professor Alfredo Franco-Obregón 

MRegen uses a specific magnetic field to trigger energy production which further results in muscle regeneration. More specifically, it delivers a uniform electromagnetic field to muscle regions at a magnitude and frequency that recreates the same metabolic responses as physical activity. It could be extremely useful in situations when physical activity isn’t possible.

The team has already optimized the device’s usage duration to provide the best possible results in terms of metabolic stability and muscle equality.

Reference: National University of Singapore

Testing and Clinical Trials

So far, researchers have conducted two trials with this machine and both of them have shown impressive results. They have tested MRegen on 10 healthy people and 10 patients who had undergone anterior cruciate ligament knee surgery.

Healthy participants used this machine in either their right or left leg for 10 minutes once a week for five weeks straight. This resulted in up to 40% improvement in muscle strength. Whereas patients who were given the magnetic stimulation recovered 4 weeks earlier than those who had undergone traditional recovery procedures. Plus, their muscle metabolism was enhanced by up to 50%.

Courtesy of researchers

It’s quite surprising that healthy people who took magnetic field treatment in one leg experienced positive effects on their other leg too. This demonstrates a phenomenon called contralateral effect.

Moreover, the machine did not show any sign of adverse consequences or discomfort and made the rehabilitation process shorter and comfortable for patients.

Read: New Technology Can Power Devices Inside Human Body Without Batteries

The team has already filed a patent and will soon commercialize the technology via a medical device company, QuantumTx. They also plan to apply the same approach to treat other common health conditions like diabetes and obesity.

Written by
Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is an experienced science and technology journalist interested in machines, AI, and space exploration. He received M.tech degree in computer science from Indraprastha University. To find out what his latest project is, feel free to directly email him at varunkmr09@gmail.com. 

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