Magnetic Fields are Ubiquitous -- Magnetic fields are not only everywhere around us, but life itself couldn’t exist without them. In fact, it is the earth’s magnetic field that keeps the ozone layer, which protects us from ultraviolet radiation, from being blown away by solar winds. Moreover, electromagnetic effects are one of the four fundamental forces, aka fundamental interactions, that cannot be reduced to more basic interactions, along with other effects like that of gravity itself.
In fact, magnetism is so intertwined with life itself, that every compound on earth has its own intrinsic, unique magnetic charge. And as it turns out, recent technological breakthroughs have allowed scientists and engineers to put this knowledge, and ability to reproduce these unique magnetic signatures, to remarkably productive ends.
Effects of Magnetic Fields on Biological Systems
The earth’s magnetism is fundamental to life. Everyone knows how a magnetic compass works, honing in on North to help humans navigate, but perhaps less widely known is how the earth’s magnetism plays a role in bird migration and fish navigation, among other phenomena. Magnetism exists wherever there is any form of electrical current, and isn’t limited to navigation; once humans came to understand its scientific properties, they began to put them to good use in many other areas.
For example, magnetic fields have been used for various medical purposes since at least 2500 BC, once it came to be understood that humans, animals, and even bacteria can detect and react to them. The search for magnetic fields that produce biological effects has driven exploration in a multitude of experimental systems, clinical studies, and the clinical use of FDA-approved devices.
Magnetic fields are used successfully for many medical applications, including but not limited to magnetic resonance imaging, to help speed bone fracture repair, to
increase the rate of wound healing, to decrease pain and to treat depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder. While various aspects of the effects of applied magnetic fields are understood, others remain the subject of active research and development, with regular advancements in the field.
Magnetic fields may originate from ferromagnetic materials like iron and nickel, or from electric current; for example, the earth’s magnetic field is generated by the molten iron alloy in the outer core. Medical applications take advantage of this interconnection between electricity and magnetism.
Current in a wire produces a magnetic field, as discovered by Michael Faraday in 1839; the properties of the field depend on the properties of the current. If the current’s amplitude, ie the magnetic vibrations, does not change, it produces what is referred to as a static magnetic field. Conversely, a current with changing amplitude produces an oscillating magnetic field. Both field types have played a role in the biological investigations and applications of magnetic field effects.
Proposed Mechanism of Action
The search for new mechanisms of the biological effects of magnetic fields takes varied approaches.
A fundamental property of an oscillating magnetic field is the ability to induce current flow in a conducting medium. This fundamental phenomenon gives rise to the theory that a field-induced current may alter the behavior of a cell’s membrane channel. For example, ions of calcium or sodium might move across the cell membrane, causing nerves to fire, and influencing the cell’s physiology.
Another mechanism for exploration focuses on the fact that a magnetic field changes the binding properties of specific proteins, altering the properties within a cell; for example, a protein known as calmodulin gets regulated by calcium binding.
A third magnetic field effect is the alteration of nitric oxide, a regulator of various important cell pathways, and alterations in reactive oxygen species, which can change cell metabolism.
Identification of precise mechanisms to elicit a specific outcome in a cell, tissue or patient is the subject of ongoing research.
Influences of the Earth’s Magnetic Field
As discussed, the Earth generates a magnetic field, and species as diverse as bats, worms, birds, sea turtles and lobsters evolved to sense changes in the local magnetic environment, utilizing them for both navigation and foraging.
However, the mechanism by which the Earth’s magnetic field is sensed has not been unambiguously determined. In some organisms, specialized cells contain iron particles that may act as sensors. In other cases, no specialized protein or cell organelles have been identified to detect magnetic fields.
Device Generated Magnetic Fields
Magnetic fields have been shown to alter the analgesic effects of opioids, stimulate bone growth, reduce tissue swelling, and promote wound healing in both animal models and humans. Magnetic fields that enhance bone growth and aid in wound healing have been in clinical use for at least 40 years; pain reduction has been observed in studies of breast reconstruction, breast reduction, post-cesarean operative recovery, and osteoarthritis; in addition, analgesic and opioid use and edema were also reduced in breast reduction, breast reconstruction and post-caesarean patients.
Devices generating magnetic fields are also effective in treating major depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, and such devices are recommended for treating the acute phase of depression in patients who are resistant and intolerant of other therapeutic options.
In concert with the clinical development of magnetic field use, researchers have attempted to define the underlying biological effects that lead to the field’s therapeutic effects and to relate them to one or more of the underlying theories of magnetic field function. This work has examined isolated protein systems, cells grown in culture, and organisms ranging from nematodes to mammals, as well as numerical modeling of the functions of the cell.
EMulate Therapeutics, Inc. and Ultra-Low Radio Frequency Energy (ulRFE®)
EMulate Therapeutics, Inc. (www.emulatetx.com) has developed a patented, proprietary technology using an oscillating magnetic field to produce therapeutic effects. EMulate’s Voyager device produces a broadband, multifrequency field, with frequencies up to roughly 22 kHz, that is obtained from the recordings of selected molecules. While the details of the mechanism of action are not known, recordings are hypothesized to capture features of the recorded molecule that alter cellular
behavior. The EMulate Voyager device is currently in clinical testing for patients with terminal brain cancer, using a field derived from the molecule paclitaxel.
Voyager has been tested in over 400 dogs (pets) with naturally occurring malignancies by Dr. Greg Ogilvie (Angel Care Cancer Center, LA). Interim review of the first 200 pets observed partial responses and complete responses in over 20 different tumor types. No clinically important or significant toxicities (Grade 3 or 4) were observed.
An early feasibility study has shown promising results. The median progression free survival (PFS) in this study was 10 weeks for Voyager alone and 16 weeks for Voyager plus standard of care. For comparison, the median OS (*OS?) for “active drugs” in this disease is 7.2 months, meaning Voyager appears to have a similar effect to chemotherapy for this patient population in this study. When Voyager is added to “active drugs” OS (*OS?) improves to 10 months.
Additional data has demonstrated behavioral changes in mice that were exposed to fields derived from chemistries intended to either stimulate or suppress behavior. Under controlled and blinded conditions, an independent evaluator noted the mice reacting consistently to the magnetic field they were exposed to, much as if they had ingested the correlating compound.
Multiple studies in a variety of systems indicate that magnetic fields can alter biological function. Therapeutically useful devices are used presently in clinical practice, both in human and veterinary medicine. Treatment for bone growth, wound healing, arthritis pain and depression are among the clinical uses. Current research aims to understand better how these fields exert their effects to further enable new and exciting therapeutic options for many diseases, and researchers have every reason to be optimistic about the eventual outcomes.
Wave Frequencies Used in Common Technologies
The non-profit International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection’s (INCIRP) stated mission is to “protect people and the environment against adverse effects of Non-ionizing radiation (NIR).” It executes this mission by developing and disseminating science-based guidelines for avoiding risk about biological effects and action mechanisms, in concert with international biologists, epidemiologists, physicians, physicists and chemists.
The guidelines the INCIRP sets focuses on radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF) from the range 100khz to 300 GHz, covering applications than run the gamut,
from 5G technologies, WiFi, Bluetooth, mobile phones and base stations, to microwave ovens, toasters, and other low-signal technologies, similar to that of what the Hapbee utilizes.
The ICNIRP has extensively evaluated these and other technologies, utilizing different quantities and temperatures to allow for variation, and found no evidence of any cancer, infertility, electro-hypersensitivity, or other health effects. Though the Hapbee is a wearable device, it emits such low level-frequencies that the effects are comparable to a toaster from 30 feet away.
It is fair to say that under ICNIRP guidelines, the Hapbee is considered a safe device, with no effects of any kind to humans or other living organisms.
Developed by the US military, the Superconducting Quantum Interference Unit (SQUID) magnetometer can detect “real-time” changes in the magnetic environment of molecules of interest, like those of caffeine and CBD.
EMulate Therapeutics has developed a specialized liquid helium-cooled procedure to create the identical magnetic signals that, once tested for safety, are used in blind trials with a small group of users. These help identify which signals perform best to achieve a given outcome, and thus move forward in Hapbee’s development process.
To determine how strong a magnetic field is required to create the desired sensation or feeling, experiments exploring a range of stimulation strengths are conducted. Although each signal is slightly different in terms of exact output power, all of Hapbee's signals have been rigorously tested for safety and confirmed to fall within applicable International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) safe exposure guidelines for low-frequency magnetic fields. The typical Hapbee signal has been measured to be the equivalent of those coming from a toaster oven from 30 feet away.
Hapbee Signal details
Non-ionizing, non-thermal, and non-invasive. Effects wear off after an average of 5 minutes upon cessation
Produces specific and precise time-varying magnetic fields
Proper vector and duration to create a discrete response, unique to each signal
Research and History of the Technology
Magnetic field therapy, the science behind the Hapbee, had already been proven to work in various situations, from helping to speed healing in broken bones to treating cancerous tumors; in an oncological clinical trial, an ulRFE (ultra-low Radio Frequency Energy) platform was shown to reduce size and growth in over 20 different varieties of tumors.
Having seen ulRFE work both safely and effectively, Hapbee set out to conduct clinical trials by utilizing SQUID (Superconducting Quantum Interference Device) technology developed by the US military to “record” the magnetic waves as measured from various substances and pharmaceuticals in common use, then precisely recreating them in a wearable device. The preliminary results were extraordinary; by utilizing simulations, the effects were found to be largely similar, from pain management to antidepressants to caffeine and sleep aids, but without the side-effects typically associated with many of them.
Hapbee is a leading wearable wellness technology platform provider aiming to help people improve their wellbeing and enhance how they feel. The Company is the creator of the Hapbee Headband, which is powered by patented ultra-low radio frequency energy (ulRFE®) technology and delivers low-power electromagnetic signal blends designed to help improve users' sleep, productivity, recovery, and relaxation. Hapbee has offices in Montreal, Vancouver, Seattle and Los Angeles.