How I plan to insert my first finger magnet.

edited February 2015 in Procedures
Just bought some magnets and I'm planning on inserting my first magnet this week. I'm going to go over my planned methodology but please feel free to offer me give me pointers or tell me where I'm doing something stupid because I'm a complete noob when it comes to this.

I ended buying from and purchased:
100 * 1mm, 0.5mm N35 disks
20 * 1mm, 1mm N35 disks
5 A4 Magnetic sheets (for another project)

I'll start by using the 1mm, 0.5mm and I might use one of the bigger ones at a later date. 

They are uncoated so I'm going to have to do that bit myself. This is the bit I'm most unsure about so please offer me advice if you know a better way of doing this. I'm thinking of melting some PLA in a test tube  and dipping the magnet in one side, letting it solidify then dipping the other side in. 

I'll borrow a quicktag gun from work to insert the magnet. It shouldn't have any trouble piercing the skin as new blades can cut through leather with no trouble whatsoever.
I'll use a new needle and sterilize it along with the magnet then prepare a bucket of ice water. As it's sterilizing I'll wash my hands again, numb my left hand in the ice and apply rubbing alcohol to kill any nasties left on my hands. Then I'll insert the magnet in to the needle and pierce it through under my ring finger pad of the left hand and pull the trigger. the needle is steel so I'll use another magnet to remove it from the end of the needle and then finally apply a band aid. I heal very quickly and the needle is thin enough that the would should close over in about 12 hours so I don't think I'll need to bother with stitching.

If this is successful I'll be inserting another magnet in the other hand the week after then doing the same for each index finger.


  • those magnets of yours are nickel coated. you definetly don't want to expose your body to nickel. and altho there are biocompatible kinds of PLA, i'm not sure if you have the right one at hands and if it is long-term stable inside the body. my guess would be that the body will degrade the PLA over time and expose the bare nickel.
  • Thanks Thomas. I'm willing to take the risk with nickel as long as I can coat them safely, I imagine it's not as bad as exposed neodymium.

    So what would the best way to coat them affordably?

    I'd also be willing to give away half the magnets to somebody who could coat them for me.
  • If you're not allergic to gold or silver, it might be possible to electroplate a bit on the outside. Dissolve a small amount of gold in aqueous solution and run a charge onto the magnet through the solution.

    Apparently nickel can cause allergic reactions, and/or decrease immunosensitivity, a.k.a a cold can kill you.
  • Thanks for the information Ichaleynbin. I knew nickel was bad, didn't know it was that bad!

    I'v got some sugru now which I know at least one other person has had success with but I'll be using another coating for added protection. I did consider electroplating, just need to find a cheep way of doing it.
  • Plating with gold is fairly easy to do, it's not difficult to get hold of some immersion gold solutions.  The problem with hard, thin, metal coatings (especially DIY ones) is that they can come off rather easily when subject to physical trauma.

    I've heard that sugru breaks down after a year or so.  I'm not sure about hot glue.

    Medical grade silicone, or food grade PTFE is certainly the best way to go, though a bit harder to come by.
  • I've gone with a thin layer of non-toxic PVA with a layer of Sugru on top. I'll have it replaced with a better one waaaay before the Sugru breaks down. 
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