Using Magnetic Induction to Give a Cadaver’s Penis an Erection

Researchers used magnetic induction to get a rise out of, or into, a cadaver’s penis.

Details are in the study “Use of Magnetic Induction to Activate a ‘Touchless’ Shape Memory Alloy Implantable Penile Prosthesis,” Brian V. Le, Kevin T. McVary, Kevin McKenna, and Alberto Colombo, The Journal of Sexual Medicine, vol. 16, no. 4, April 2019, pp. 596-601.

Drawing by Nan Swift, Improbable Research staff, styled after photos in the medical study.

The authors, at University of Wisconsin Madison. Loyola University Medical Center, Northwestern University, and Southern Illinois University, report:

We describe a novel physiologic penile prosthesis that uses shape memory alloy properties to mimic the transition between a flaccid and erect penis using magnetic induction instead of hydraulic pressure…. The device was then tested implanted in an animal tissue model and in cadaveric tissue. Testing consisted of placing the device deactivated in its more malleable and compressed state, then activating it using an external inducer wand…

A cadaver was implanted with a latex-covered penile prosthesis using a modified surgical technique through a penoscrotal approach. An adapter to accommodate standard Boston Scientific rear tip extenders was created for the model using 3-D printing technology and used to mimic the standard rear-tip extender used in contemporary IPPs and improved the device anchoring in the corpora cavernosa. The implanted penile prosthesis was activated by waving the inductor along the shaft of the cadaver’s penis…. The prosthesis reached an almost complete activation.