The engineers and scientists at the Fellowship of Orthopaedic Researchers (FOR) have
been investigating devices for the treatment of various spinal pathologies utilizing its rare earth
magnet technology. The line of devices is being developed under the “Magnes” label.
Depending on the application, rare earth magnets are incorporated into the functional design
of the device. The orientation of the magnet’s polarity is being used to create attractive or
repulsive forces across a distance. This distance can be a separation between body segments,
across a joint space, or between multiple components of the implanted device itself.
Why did FOR choose the “Magnes” label for its rare earth magnetic development?
According to Greek legend, magnetism was first discovered by a shepherd named Magnes who
lived in Magnesia, Greece, 4,000 years ago. Magnes was herding his sheep through the
mountains. Suddenly, he noticed the ferrule of his stick and the nails in his sandals got stuck on
a rock. The iron in his stick and nails in his sandals had become attracted to the magnetic rock.
The Greeks named the stone magnetite, after the shepherd and the region it was found in. The
FOR believes it is a fitting name for its spinal applications and has trademarked “Magnes” for its
clinical devices that incorporate rare earth magnets.
FOR has received clearance from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
to begin clinical use of its initial Magnes Anterior Cervical Plate and Screw System. The base
system utilizes traditional cervical plate and screws to obtain fusion of the cervical bodies. FOR
is preparing biomechanical, biocompatibility, and safety data for its rare earth magnet
embedded screws which impart small magnetic forces across the cervical vertebral bodies.
Compression of a fracture or fusion segment is known to enhance the bone healing process.
FOR has assembled the necessary data to submit to FDA and is working with its FDA consultant
to obtain clearance.