Can Magnetic Beads Detect Pre-Eclampsia?

A close up of the inside of an artificial blood vessel

According to new research released in the American Heart Association’s Hypertension Journal Report, the answer is yes. A new study has highlighted the use of functionalized magnetic beads to reduce blood levels of a harmful molecule by 40%.

 During pregnancy the placenta produces molecules that can damage the mother’s blood vessels. When blood vessels are damaged, the blood pressure increases. These harmful molecules are called SFIL-1.

 The study noted that researchers in Paris have found that using magnetic beads helped reduced the amount of SFIL-1 in the mother’s system. Clinically this means that the less SFIL-1 in the bloodstream, the less disruption of vessels which cause high blood pressure in preeclampsia.


The new proof of concept study revealed, “that functionalized magnetic beads reduced blood levels of a harmful molecule by 40 percent, which doubled the effect of a different molecule that aids blood vessel function, opening new perspectives for the treatment of preeclampsia.â€

Preeclampsia is a complication of pregnancy characterized by hypertension and kidney dysfunction that affects an estimated 6% – 8% of women in the U.S. who give birth each year. Preeclampsia is responsible of severe complications for the mother (seizures, stroke, renal failure, liver dysfunction) and the infant (low birth weight, preterm delivery, stillbirth). The condition also increases a woman’s risk for cardiovascular disease later in life (stroke and high blood pressure). Currently, there’s no cure for preeclampsia, and only delivery can alleviate the condition.

“The reduction of sFlt-1 and the release of angiogenic factors is very significant and promising, said lead study author Vassilis Tsatsaris, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Cochin Hospital in Paris.

Based on the success of these early findings, the Journal noted that Tsatsaris and his colleagues would like to expand their study and repeat these experiments to see if this approach can control preeclampsia and prolong pregnancy while reducing the risks of prematurity for the baby.


The French National Agency for Research funded the study. For more information on the study itself -

This study’s very early results will ensure the study’s expansion and potentially if the beads continue to show success and replicate the initial study’s finding, then they may be another tool for helping reduce maternal mortality and the rate of preeclampsia in women.


For more information and resources on preeclampsia – go to –  If you found this article helpful, please share and pass the knowledge on.


Follow Dr. Linda on Facebook | Order your copy of The Smart Mother’s Guide to a Better Pregnancy: How to Minimize Risks, Avoid Complications, and Have a Healthy Baby | Dr. Linda is a board certified Ob/Gyn and an expert in the area of pre-eclampsia and high-risk pregnancies. Contact Dr. Linda about an appearance at your next event or media placement opportunities.

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