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Magnetic treatment for obstructive sleep apnea

Principal Investigator: Michael R. Harrison, M.D.
Team Members: Joseph Lamberti, B.S., Dinora Murota, B.A.



An estimated 1 in 15 people, or approximately 18-20 million adults in the United States, has at least moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a potentially serious sleep disorder characterized by repeated upper airway obstruction during sleep. Resulting in possible significant adverse effects on health and daily function, OSA is closely associated with daytime sleepiness, decreased quality of life, motor vehicle accidents, and serious cardiovascular illness, ranging from hypertension to myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular accident, and death. 


 magnap brace

MagNap is a magnet-activated treatment for OSA designed to be less invasive than reconstructive surgery, more tolerable than continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), and more effective than non-invasive therapies for OSA. The MagNap device consists of a neodymium-iron-boron rare earth magnet with a ferromagnetic directional back-plate encased in titanium that is implanted on the hyoid bone in the neck via a simple surgical procedure. Following surgery, the patient is fitted with a custom, removable external neck accessory containing a second magnet, which is worn during sleep and prevents airway collapse by attracting the internal hyoid magnet with sufficient force to keep the airway open.



  • Rosenbluth KH, Kwiat DA, Harrison MR, Kezirian EJ. Hyoid Bone Advancement for Improving Airway Patency: Cadaver Study of a Magnet-Based System. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012 Mar;146(3):491-6.

Featured Media


Magnets offer hope for people with sleep apnea - ABC News - February 16, 2017

Tests begin with magnetic device to treat sleep apnea - ABC News - February 21, 2017

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