Body Modification Goes High-Tech: Magnet Implants

What happens when you place a body modification artist and a neuroscientist in a room? Well besides a match made in heaven, you would get a unique body mod that give somewhat of a true sixth sense. Steve Haworth, a body-mod artist, originally wanted a magnet implant to hold metal jewelry. That idea was unsuccessful because the skin between the magnet and object would eventually die. Haworth and Todd Huffman, the Arizona State graduate student with background in neuroscience, continued with the implant idea but took a different direction.

With a magnet implanted in the skin, the body would be able to detect electromagnetic fields. In response to EM fields that magnet—implanted in the ring finger—would move ever so slightly and stimulate the nerves in the finger. Any kind of a EM field could be felt in the finger by a tingling sensation—speakers, hard drives, refrigerators, etc. Hit the jump for some more details on this unique procedure.

Huffman, who received the implant, began experiencing problems several months after the operation. The body began breaking the magnet down after the silicone coating failed. The body shattered the magnet into tiny pieces and Huffman lost sensation, but the magnet later rebuilt itself and he gained the sensation back. He discourages anyone from trying this because of the related risks. Haworth plans on continuing to work on magnet implants but using a different type of magnet and a stronger silicone coating.

A Sixth Sense for a Wired World [Wired]