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Heart attacks and strokes are the leading causes of death in the world. Research indicates that high blood viscosity and turbulence in blood circulation are the keys to trigger these vascular diseases. High blood viscosity and turbulence place much heavier work load on the heart. Turbulence in blood circulation can further rapture blood vessels and develop atherosclerotic plaque. Therefore, reducing blood viscosity and suppressing turbulence is the key to prevent heart attacks and strokes. On the other hand, these two tasks conflict each other. Presently, the only method to reduce the blood viscosity is to take medicine, such as aspirin. However, using medicine to reduce the blood viscosity does not suppress turbulence because the Reynolds number goes up with the viscosity reduction. Currently, neither medicine nor method is available presently to suppress turbulence in blood circulation. Here we report our new discovery with magnetorheology (MR): application of a strong magnetic field to blood along its flow direction, red blood cells are polarized in the magnetic field and aggregated into short chains along the flow direction. The blood viscosity becomes anisotropic: Along the flow direction the viscosity is significantly reduced, but in the directions perpendicular to the flow the viscosity is considerably increased. In this way, the blood flow becomes laminar, turbulence is suppressed, the blood circulation is greatly improved, and the risk for heart attacks is reduced. While these effects are not permanent, they last for about 24 hours after one magnetic therapy treatment. Our lab experiments and tests with mice confirm that this technology can successfully prevent development of atherosclerotic plaque. Our clinical trials further confirm that this MR technology can effectively cure hypertension for human and help people to prevent heart attack and stroke.
Rongjia Tao received his BS from USTC in 1970. He entered Columbia University through the CUSPEA program in 1979 and received Ph.D. in physics from Columbia University in 1982. After spending two years as a postdoctoral fellow with Prof. David Thouless at University of Washington, one year as research assistant professor with Prof. Duncan Haldane at University of Southern California, and four years as assistant professor at Northeastern University, he joined Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC) in 1989 where he served as Professor of Physics and Department Chair. In 2000, he moved to Temple University to serve as Professor of Physics and Department Chair.