Neodymium implant procedure
  • FfawayFfaway January 2011
    I am currently working on a project that can be found here-
    unfortunately, I didn't understand one of the field's titles, and so the url is a little funky xP. but ignoring that, I wanted to start a discussion on neodymium implants for two reasons: 
    1) implanting procedure, and
    2) safety after installation.
    I know several people here have neodymium implants- is there anything that you would suggest doing different? How did your procedure go? Any complaints since the "installation"?
    For people who use their hands a lot, is there anything you'd recommend? My house is heated with a wood stove so there is a lot of wood transportation and the occasional squished finger.
    I'm already bioproofing with sugru, but that hasn't been picked up yet- is there something else safer, more effective, or otherwise superior for bioproofing?

    Yes, this is a relatively old project. But there are people starting up and this kind of guide would have been awesome to find when I wanted to start 
  • SovereignBleakSovereignBleak January 2011
    V&P Scientific sells parylene coated Nd's, which are bioproof and fairly cheap. Nate at Feeling Waves has had one implanted in his finger and it works. He had difficulty with the implant migrating toward the surface and suggested a deeper stitch for future procedures.

    This is likely the direction I'll go for an upcoming how-to video done with twelve of them arranged as Nate theorized might lead to higher sensitivity. Photo below is his.

  • DirectorXDirectorX January 2011
    @sovereignbleak:  I have the implants.  I'd advise against this set-up.  Anything below the fingertip is going to be ineffective.  Also, you might have problems with two of the magnets in one of your fingers pulling themselves together, causing tissue damage.  Also, if two magnets do work themselves together, the pressure on the silicone might cause the units to fail in a few years (maybe).  I'd try super-gluing them to your hand for a day or two to see if you think they would interfere with each other.

    Stacking them in series might also be an interesting experiment.

  • SovereignBleakSovereignBleak January 2011
    @DirectorX Are you certain any magnet implanted below the fingertip would be ineffective?

    What are the strengths and sizes of implanted grinders' magnets here?

    EDIT: Clarified word choice.
  • FfawayFfaway January 2011
    I don't think he means beneath the fingertip, but lower on the finger than the finger tip. The finger tip is rich in nerve endings, where as the 'stalk' of the finger isn't. Also, things migrate beneath the skin fairly easily- especially if they are small. DirectorX definitely has a point
  • DirectorXDirectorX January 2011
    Sorry about the confusion.  The tissue surrounding the distal phalanx is the one of the only areas with sensitive enough nerves.  Anything closer to the palm has failed.  The genital region is another option which has worked for people.  I suspect that it may also work under the nail of the large toe.

    Steve Haworth put my implant in.  He told me that he has heard of people putting them pretty much everywhere on their body, but the only places that work are the fingertips and the genitals (sadly).

    My magnet is small- I couldn't tell you the size or strength in numbers.  I know that I wouldn't like it if the magnet was any stronger than it is.

  • SovereignBleakSovereignBleak January 2011
    @Ffaway I did mean lengthwise down the finger, I'm sorry if I was unclear.

    @DirectorX I googled and found that stacking magnets like [SN][SN][SN][SN][SN] won't magnify the field but like [SN][NS][SN][NS][SN] will double the strength of each. You'd need another container around the two or more magnets to avoid them repelling each other.

  • slamptslampt January 2011
    Hey Guys, 

    This is the next thing I want to try (done the RFID implant etc) and have go that working with my car, bike and house.  The next project on the RFID front is introducing encryption, but I wont go into that here. I would be interested in knowing what size magnets people are using and if they are available already bio-proofed. At this stage I am only going to go for the 1 implant on my ring finger. From what I read there isn't really any reason to put more in (correct me if I am wrong).


  • BenBen January 2011
    The smalles I've read about so far (not that much reading done,though) were disks with 2x1mm.

    Actually, there is one more region where there should be enough nerves: the lips.
    But I guess the fingers are the best place to put them.
  • SovereignBleakSovereignBleak January 2011
    I'm about to purchase the parylene-coated 782N-3's from V&P. This is the same model of magnet that's in Nate's finger.

    Any objections before I do?

    I'll be implanting four, one in each fingertip of the left hand as a first test.
  • FfawayFfaway January 2011
    That sounds exactly correct. You prepared to pay the minimum order of 50 dollars though? Its the only think that got me- I ended up getting gold coated neodymium that are .3mm thicker, and will end up even larger after bioproofing, because I don't have the cash for that size of an order.
  • BenBen January 2011
    I got these:

    have to bioproof them, but they are pretty cheap...

    any objections/concerns?
  • John_NYJohn_NY January 2011
    I also ordered the V&P magnets (from the USA) -- I ordered the 3mm (x100) and 6mm (x10) magnets for $53, the total was around $75 including S/H.
    I placed the order on Thursday via their order form, they emailed me the same day.  They sent the info to my credit card company today (Wednesday).
    So they're a bit slower than most online merchants that I'm used to dealing with, but they seem to have gotten it done. 
    Alternately, I could have procured the following cheaper magnets (USA):
    or from
    Since the latter site is significantly cheaper for my experiments, the V&P parylene-coated magnets may end up on eBay.
  • FfawayFfaway January 2011
    Got my magnets today. These are 1mm thick, 2mm diameter. Absolutely tiny, but I wouldn't want to go any larger to be honest.

  • SovereignBleakSovereignBleak January 2011
    @Ffaway Are you implanting them yourself? If you are, let us know the materials and the technique you used.
  • FfawayFfaway January 2011
    Yes I am :)
    In my original post, I have a link the, where in the documents section I have my entire lab write-up. Still waiting for my needles to arrive, but have everything else. Unfortunately, they were shipped via USPS, which is notoriously slow and their tracking system isn't all that great, so I have no idea when they are arriving. Whenever gets it's update, I hope to have an updated lab report with some extra notes on it.
  • ThomasEgiThomasEgi January 2011
    all those neodym things... good thing the times of magnetic video/audio/data tapes/disks is mostly over ;)
  • FiredustFiredust January 2011
    Yes, i was wondering about that, anyone with these ever accidentally magnetize something that they really shouldn't have be accident?
  • DirectorXDirectorX January 2011
    I have handled credit cards, hotel room keys, flash drives, etc. for prolonged periods of time to see if I could mess something up, but was unsuccessful.  I guess it would take a stronger implant than I have to cause damage.
  • DirectorXDirectorX January 2011
    Here is a guy who could really benefit from these implants:

    I have no idea how this is possible (is he a human capacitor?), but the guy should get into MMA fighting or something. 

    It seems like running a current through the magnet would amplify the detection range. He might have to get rid of the silicone though and plate it with a bio-safe metal.
  • SovereignBleakSovereignBleak January 2011
    @Ffaway Where did you pick up your needles?
  • FfawayFfaway January 2011 were the only company that had a relatively professional website, had gauge 6 needles, and sold in orders <$20 that I could find. I'll be taking pictures of the needles when they arrive, and try to get a friend to help photo-document the procedure. They should be arriving before the 22nd, so that will give me a weekend to sterilize a bathroom and perform the operation.

    ::EDIT:: I should also mention that I used to do small scale piercing gigs a couple years ago (legal where I live without permits/training). The websites where you can order piercing needles are have a history of being low quality in construction, have mediocre/low customer service, and go down every couple months only to be replaced with new sites. But they've never failed to deliver in my experience, even if sometimes slow, and they always have good needles- just make sure you order individually wrapped and pre-sterilized product.
  • FfawayFfaway January 2011
    To my surprise, the needles arrived today. I would definitely recommend the site linked above ;p A comparison of the needle, magnet, and my index finger. If I were to reorder the needles, I might get a gauge somewhere in the range of 8-10 next time. These would work excellently for bigger implants in areas like the arm.

  • lichenlichen January 2011

    I ordered some 1mm x 3mm nickel-coated neodymium disks from Amazon (Magnets and Magnets) and some 4 gauge piercing needles (PiercingPros). From your image, 6 or 8 gauge would have probably been a better choice. I'll see when they show up.

    Does the gold coating serve any purpose if you plan on coating them with another material? I went with a plain nickel coating because the only gold-coated magnets I could find were 1.5mm thick, and would need to be bioproofed still anyways.

  • FfawayFfaway January 2011
    I honestly don't know. It sounds like the coating doesn't matter but something in the back of my head is saying that it does. Something along the lines that gold is a very effective conductor, to help strengthen the generated electric field. But it should work just fine without the gold coat. I'm just a first year biochem student though, so don't take my word as final.
  • John_NYJohn_NY January 2011
    Don't these magnets work by mechanical vibration?  The Wired article alleged that neodymium coated with silicon and then gold caused an electrical field, but most of what I've seen suggests that mechanical vibration is the only source of sensation.
    I don't think there should be any induced electrical potential, no
    matter what you coat it with (except perhaps a piezoelectric
    substance).  And since you're coating the magnet with a bioproof substance that is probably non-conductive, you're electrically isolating it anyway.
    Gold is (I thought) biologically neutral -- it is likely to be safer in the body than nickel.  If the bioproofing is breached or torn somehow, it's probably safer to have gold than nickel.
    my 2cents,
  • FfawayFfaway January 2011
    @John_ny are you trolling or should we take you seriously?
  • John_NYJohn_NY January 2011
    I am indeed serious.  Based on my knowledge of electronics and physics, I don't see where the electric field is coming from.  I legitimately don't see how a coated magnet would transmit an electric signal.  On the other hand, the 60Hz vibration as recorded by the "feelingwaves" blog is very clearly a mechanical effect.
    As for the material safety, I'm not a chemist, but gold just feels like it would be safer.
    Thank you for your documentation of this!
    my 2cents,
  • DirectorXDirectorX January 2011
    The gold IS important.  John NY is correct that it serves as an extra layer of bioproofing.  Remember that these implants are toxic.  They will corrode in your hand if they are exposed to your tissues. 

    Also, some metals have a magnetic dampening effect.  Slide a magnet across an aluminum plate and you will see what I'm talking about.  I have no idea if nickel is a dampening metal or not.  I think copper might be.

    @John_NY:  The implant doesn't generate any kind of special magnetic field once the gold is applied (just the static field from the magnet).  It is the reaction to other fields nearby that creates the effect.  So I guess it is the mechanical movement of the implant in response to other fields that produces the sensation.
  • FfawayFfaway January 2011
    Okay, cool. Thanks for the added explanation. This is an open community on the internet- makes some of us (me included) more defensive. @John_NY sorry about that :\

    If somebody could write a proper explanation as to why the neodymium implants work, that would be awesome. Apparently, what I've pieced together has been incorrect, and it'd be nice to know what is actually happening :D

    Anyways, update- picked up sugru from my friend's house last night, so starting on the bioproofing process this morning sometime. I'll probably have pictures up in the next couple hours. Hopefully I can get at least a couple implants installed tomorrow night and will have some photo documentation to go along with it.
  • SovereignBleakSovereignBleak January 2011
    @Ffaway If it's not too much trouble, I'd love to see video documentation too. 
    Good luck!
  • FfawayFfaway January 2011
    I'd love to include a video, only problem is finding a friend not too squeamish to watch me cut open my fingers AND record it from various angles ;p I'll definitely aim for it though. Wont know anything definite until tomorrow afternoon/evening.

    Added update- added a layer of sugru around the magnets. You have to work fast, and its difficult to get the sugru into a thin layer. I definitely added some size to the magnets, and am jealous of the people who ordered theirs pre-coated in silicone. I have some errands to run, so will post pictures of the bioproofed magnets compared to their original state then.
  • SovereignBleakSovereignBleak January 2011
    @Ffaway If you can't get a volunteer, just place the camera on a flat surface with the best view of the process possible. Better some video than none I say.

    Will you be stitching the holes back up? Nate of Feeling Waves didn't stitch the first time and had issues with his first implant migrating to the surface.
  • FfawayFfaway January 2011
    I definitely intend to put at least 1 stitch in each hole- gauge 8 is pretty huge. Plus a bandaid around each finger :)

    I'll do what I can for video

    Final photo before implanting the magnets- image

    The sugru definitely adds some bulk to the magnet x_x 
    I tried emailing Nate, but he hasn't responded and its been almost a week if I remember correct. Will be going over his blog again, as it was fairly thorough. 

    And who ever is resizing my images, can you should me how to do it? Or is it automated?
  • UnqualifiedUnqualified January 2011
    Quick explanation of the mechanism behind the implants:
    Current produces a magnetic field. Right, fine, "but everyone knows that." The implants are attracted (or repulsed) by this magnetic field, producing a small movement inside your finger. That's what is sensed. That's how Nate's suggested method method of trying out the implants - supergluing a magnet to your finger - still works, whereas induced current being picked up by nerves would be stopped by skin resistance. (Also, the amount of current induced in an implant would be tiny, and a lump of copper the same size would perform better, if that was the mechanism.)

    Following from the theory, rather that directly from implantees' testimony:
    AC current produces a constantly varying magnetic field, which would vibrate an implant rather cause a single twitch, thus allowing AC (or switched DC, or any fairly regularly-varying current) to be much more easily felt.
    Would one of you kind implanted folk confirm or deny the second part, please?
    Can you feel a DC current, and if so, as easily as AC?
  • IanIan January 2011
    Earlier in this post, it was mentioned that the magnets don't work anywhere else but the fingertip.  I should probably point out that L mentioned in its talk that it was planning on experimenting with bigger and badder magnets to see if they can work in less sensitive places without shocking you.  Of course, it advises to let it do it; "Leave it to me to fuck myself up with this."
  • DirectorXDirectorX January 2011
    @Unqualified: The AC does feel like a vibration, and DC kind of feels like another static magnetic field (kind of).  I usually can't detect the DC as easily as the AC unless I'm looking for it.  The vibrations kind of jump out at you.  I encountered a 3-phase power supply the other day which was kind of cool to feel.
  • DirectorXDirectorX January 2011
    I'd like to briefly describe my implant procedure, as performed by the man himself, Steve Haworth.  This is just for referrence for others who may be attempting this themselves.  I'm sure this could be added to, and eventually we might have a "best practices" document for the procedure.  Note: I am not a body modification expert, and am only relating my procedure.

    1. Wash hands with soap and water, dry thoroughly.
    2. Finger was rubbed down with iodine(?) for 30 seconds or so in a circular fashion with a cotton swab.
    3. Hand is then put inside of a latex glove (use powder-free gloves, not sure if nitril gloves are acceptable).
    4. Gloved hand is then soaked in ice water until numb.  Note that the function of the glove is to keep the hand dry.  You don't want the finger swollen and wrinkled.
    5.  Glove is removed and an incision is quickly made.  The cut is made at an angle on the side of the finger tip.
    6. A hook (threaded for stitching later) is put into the skin flap.
    7. The magnet is taken out of the bag (don't just leave it around where it can collect contaminates).
    8.  The magnet is inserted.  Pull on the stitching thread to part the skin flap if needed.
    9.  Make sure the implant is placed deep enough and not too close to the incision.
    10.  Stitch the fucker up (1 ought to do it).
    11.  put on a band-aid.  Wear a band-aid until healed to prevent the stitch from snagging on something and ripping open the wound (it will happen).  I was changing bandages at least twice/day and used a product called H2O ocean that is sprayed onto the area. 
    12. Stitches are removed after 10-14 days using new toe nail clippers or surgical scissors.

    Also, it is important to heal before you go playing with your new ability.  Handling metal object for too long will cause the implant to try to force it's way out.  This has happened before.  It takes about 15-30 days before you will start noticing vibrations.  Mine seemed to get even better after 6 months.

    Happy cutting!
  • UnqualifiedUnqualified January 2011
    @DirectorX: I was on the money, then.
    /smugmode=on  (",)
  • MrWizrdMrWizrd January 2011
    Hi all,

    Unfortunately I was absent-minded enough to mail Lepht asking for some of the info mentioned in the talk ("e-mail me") before I read through the discussion on Blogger that lead me here. Hopefully L will be forgiving and send something along at some point anyway.

    From reading the discussion here it seems that the best route forward would be to buy some gold-coated magnets and then wrap them in Sugru for added protection. I would absolutely love to have these guys in my fingertips but I really don't want to mess up. I still have a lot of questions though:

    1. Mainly @DirectorX: Is it possible to have a magnet that is coated in both gold and sugru which is both effective and small enough to go into your fingertips? If not, which would you recommend, gold or sugru?
    2. Mainly @lichen: How did your 4 gauge needles turn out (if you have them)?
    3. I'll probably call Divine Canvas at some point and ask about their pricing, but has anyone happened to check already and knows how much a single implant would cost?
    4. What happens if I have these implants "installed" (for want of a better word) and end up needing e.g; an MRI scan in the future? Is there a risk of the magnets being pulled out of my hands?

    Assuming I go ahead with this (very likely) I'll post pics/video and information as I go. Currently looking at:

    2mm*1mm Neodymium Ni-Cu-Ni coated magnets (unable to find gold on Amazon UK)
    4-g needles or 6-g needles (yay international shipping prices! -_-)

    Sewing, aftercare and sterilisation materials will also be required

    I would consider the V&P parylene coated magnets as a last resort for self-use as the cost of procurement is quite high.

    Depending on whether or not I consider the benefits of professional installation with Divine Canvas (8-10 implants) to be worth the cost I might go to them, although I'd have to get myself to London first...

    Thanks guys :)
  • BenBen January 2011
    To your first question:
    I've never seen any magnets sold without eiter nickel or gold coating. So the gold shouldn't add any thickness. Without having done any special research into that, my knowledge so far says: our bodies have some issues dealing with metal. So I'd go with the sugru, but both will probably be better. (Personally I hope the nickel doesn't diffuse through the sugru...)

    To your 4th question:
    For all I know there is not a risk for that to happen (as in "risk" there is doubt). It WILL happen.  Maybe everything I have learned so far is exaggerated, but even then it would hurt a lot. They say to take out any metal objects because they will be torn out, guess what happenes with an active magnet...
    (yes, I got the impressive picture of house pulling a bullet out of a guys head using an mri in my head; not my only source, though)
  • ThomasEgiThomasEgi January 2011
    get a "don't MRI me" tattoo. Putting an well visible notice in your wallet wouldn't hurt either. just in case someone think it's neccessary to mri you while passed out or so (i dunno policies so no idea if they are allowed to do that at all while someone is unconsciousness) 
  • UnqualifiedUnqualified January 2011
    I'd get a medical alert bracelet or something with "WARNING! Magnetic implants" or similar on it. Give the medical staff the information and let them decide. (I've had an MRI with orthodontic work still installed, so I've no idea anymore what is and isn't kosher.)
    I think it may require consent but I wouldn't put money, never mind the possibility of bodily harm, on that.
    @MrWizrd: Lepht's submerged in email these days, a reply might take a while. Iestyn's quote to me was 200 quid, but that was on a convention floor before he'd started doing them. It's probably the right area, but check with him before making up your mind. PM me if you want his email.
  • lichenlichen January 2011

    @MrWizrd: No, they haven't shown up yet. Only ordered them a few days ago, wouldn't be surprised if it took another week. I'll take pictures when they show up for size comparison.

    On another tangent, has anyone found a promising technique for local anesthesia? I've found a lidocaine 2% solution for sale at a generics website and a textbook documenting the process for a digital block using lidocaine injection, but I'm still really iffy about injecting myself with it. Anything less than that I've run into is simply a topical anesthetic cream, which would be easy but unlikely to provide any relief once the needle breaks skin.

    The following passage is the relevant material from the textbook I found. If you plan on going this route, do your own research. I'm not giving medical advice or suggesting anyone take this route, this is provided merely to share information.

    Quoted from Essentials of Hand Surgery, 1st Edition, Chapter 6: Anesthesia for Hand Surgery, Ed. Seiler, John Gray, (C) 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

    Selection of Anesthetic Agent

    The most commonly used local anesthetic agents are lidocaine (1% or 2%) solution and bupivacaine (0.25% or 0.5%) solution. Lidocaine is effective quickly but lasts 1.5 to 3 hours. Bupivacaine is effective over 15 to 30 minutes, but lasts 3 to 10 hours. A 50-50 solution of the two agents is effective in combining the benefits of both agents. Solutions with epinephrine should not be used in blocks around the fingers and hand because of its vasoconstrictive effect. The maximum dose of anesthetic agents is lower when given without epinephrine. The maximum dose of lidocaine is 4.5 mg/kg. For adults, the maximum total dose should not exceed 300 mg. The maximum dose of bupivacaine is 2.5 mg/kg. The maximum total dose of bupivacaine should not exceed 175 mg. The addition of 1 mL of sodium bicarbonate solution per 10 mL of anesthetic alkalinizes the solution and decreases discomfort during injection. As with any injection, it is important to aspirate before injecting to avoid an intravascular injection of the agent. Early symptoms of toxicity from an intravascular injection include headache, ringing in the ears, numbness in the tongue and mouth, twitching of facial muscles, and restlessness. As the systemic levels of the agent increase, convulsions can result, followed by respiratory arrest and arrhythmias.

    The rest of the chapter discusses nerve locations in the hand and proper injection points and technique for different types of blocks, and references the following source: Ramamurthy S, Hickey R. Anesthesia. In Green DP, Hotchkiss RN, Pederson WC, eds. Operative hand surgery, 4th ed. Churchill Livingstone, New York, 1993, pp. 22–47.

  • MrWizrdMrWizrd January 2011
    Thanks for your responses :) I e-mailed DC ([email protected]) earlier this morning, I don't suppose it would do much good sending a duplicate e-mail. I'll give it a day or three and if I don't hear back I'll call them or PM :) But yeah, £200 is a little out of my budget (especially since i'd eventually like a few.)

    In the likely case it's looking like self-installation is my only reasonable way forward. I might follow @lichen's example and pick up those magnets and then coat them with sugru, depending on what the cost to have pre-coated parylene ones instead is since I'm slightly concerned about the lack of a gold coat and how that compares to Ni-Cu-Ni. Not sure about which size needles to pick up (4, 6 or 8) either. Time to do more research...
  • MrWizrdMrWizrd January 2011
    @lichen: Wow... I wouldn't dare unless it was something I could just swab onto skin. Lidocaine is some serious stuff, and I have zero idea about whether or not posession is above board in the UK without some sort of license anyway...
  • MrWizrdMrWizrd January 2011
    @Ffaway I was reviewing your procedures on
    selfmodifier and you mentioned that you won't be eating anything for
    four hours before you begin. That might not be necessary since
    the reason for nil-by-mouth stems from the risk of vomiting when under a
    local anaesthetic; and since you won't be under one you might be able
    to face the pain without having to go hungry as well. (Source: Several
    operations and plenty of time in hospital due to Spastic Diplegia, a form of Cerebral Palsy.
  • lichenlichen January 2011
    @MrWizrd: Lidocaine is commonly added to creams (typically at around 4% from what I've seen) and sold as a topical numbing agent for waxing, cracked/irritated skin, and the like without a prescription. If goods like these are sold in your country then it isn't a restricted substance. That being said, injections are serious business, not to mention that syringes are somewhat annoying to obtain and dispose of unless you have other reasons to be using them.
  • MrWizrdMrWizrd January 2011
    Since BMEZine is currently down for maintenance, here's a Google Cache of a great article on these implants.

    Edit: Just received a reply from DC. The cost of an implant is £200. The magnets are coated in silicon. Lestyn is going to India from 27th Jan to 18th Feb, and is in every day except Thursday.

    Edit 2: After reading Nate's blog, I've decided I'd be much more comfortable with using a Parylene magnet. I live in the UK. Would anyone be interested in splitting the cost of a bulk order to lower the price for everyone?
  • FiredustFiredust January 2011
    Just to quote you "As the systemic levels of the agent increase, convulsions can result, followed by respiratory arrest and arrhythmias." respiratory arrest? arrythmias? of the heart? Both of those can kill you so be very, very careful should you decide to go with an injection.
  • UnqualifiedUnqualified January 2011
    Remember the rule: if it's happened to someone on the drug, it goes on the list of side-effects. Yes, injecting is dodgy; intramuscular is less so, though. The quote above is mainly a warning about overdosing. Anyone who needs to be warned of the dangers of anaesthetic overdose has an admirable lack of imagination.
    Which is not to say you can take this lightly; there's a reason anaethesiology is a specialty.

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