The San Francisco Chronicle reported on a new device being tested at UCSF that employs powerful magnets to help correct pectus excavatum, a congenital deformity of the chest cavity that is typically indented over the breastbone. The theory is that the magnetic force between a surgically-implanted magnet beneath the breastbone and a second magnet positioned above the implanted magnet and attached to a brace, will slowly permit remodeling of the chest cavity, much like wearing braces on the teeth reshapes their growth pattern.
Although still experimental, it is a clever concept. But future MRI's for these patients? Well, they're out of the question.
My fellow physician-blogger, GruntDoc, will also appreciate the logo of the magnet worn on the first patient's chest, seen in the pictures that accompany the article.
h/t: WSJ Health Blog
The device's patent application.