Magnetic fields have the potential to noninvasively direct and focus therapy to disease targets. External magnets can apply forces on drug-coated magnetic nanoparticles, or on living cells that contain particles, and can be used to manipulate them in vivo. Significant progress has been made in developing and testing safe and therapeutic magnetic constructs that can be manipulated by magnetic fields. However, we do not yet have the magnet systems that can then direct those constructs to the right places, in vivo, over human patient distances. We do not yet know where to put the external magnets, how to shape them, or when to turn them on and off to direct particles or magnetized cells—in blood, through tissue, and across barriers—to disease locations. In this article, we consider ear and eye disease targets. Ear and eye targets are too deep and complex to be targeted by a single external magnet, but they are shallow enough that a combination of magnets may be able to direct therapy to them. We focus on how magnetic fields should be shaped (in space and time) to direct magnetic constructs to ear and eye targets.

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Data & Media loading...

    Three-dimensional visualization of the human ear anatomy achieved by surface rendering of archival sections of the temporal bone of a 14-year-old male.

    The anatomy of the human eye.

    Three-dimensional distribution of the fluorescent MNPs within a single rat eye, shown in red for particles that were found inside the eye.

    Three-dimensional distribution of the fluorescent MNPs within a single rat eye, shown in green for particles that remained outside the eye.

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