Nanomedicine, Volume I: Basic Capabilities

© 1999 Robert A. Freitas Jr. All Rights Reserved.

Robert A. Freitas Jr., Nanomedicine, Volume I: Basic Capabilities, Landes Bioscience, Georgetown, TX, 1999 Magnetic Field Neurosensing

The magnetic flux density caused by a single action potential discharge is ~0.1 microtesla at the axonal surface, which may be detected by a "compass oscillator" type magnetosensor with a ~KHz maximum sampling rate (Section 4.7.2).

It might be possible for artificial magnetic fields to directly influence neural transmissions. Even a static 65 millitesla field has been shown to reduce frog skin Na+ transport by 10-30%.500 Each neuronal discharge develops an electrical energy of ~20 picojoule (~1010 kT), far smaller than the magnetic energy stored in a B = 1.4 tesla field of a permanent micromagnet traversing an L3 = (20 micron)3 volume which from Eqn. 6.9 is B2 L3 / 2 m0 ~ 6000 pJ. If properly manipulated, such a field may be sufficient to enhance, modulate, or extinguish a passing neural signal.


Last updated on 17 February 2003