Cranial vault moulding by the transcutaneous activation of implanted magnets

Thomas Pittman, Gregory C. Rinehart, Robert Hagen, Edgar Saidana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The technique of distraction osteogenesis has not been widely used in the treatment of injuries of the head and face because of the need for external fixators. By using magnetic, rather than mechanical, forces to drive bone movement we hope to expand the applications of the technique to include the treatment of cranial vault deformities. Fifteen immature rabbits were studied. When they were 6 weeks old each had a magnet fixed to their left parietal bone. A head frame was attached and a magnet of either the opposite polarity to, (group 1), or the same polarity as, (group 2), the implanted magnet was mounted on the frame. Five weeks later the rabbits were sacrificed. There were significant differences in parietal skull width and in several measures of skull length between the animals in group 1 and those in group 2. These results demonstrate that, in this model, magnetic forces can be used to modify skull growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-83
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Neurosurgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997


  • Craniosynostosis
  • Ilizarov technique
  • Magnets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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