Drawing toxins from infected blood using a magnet may now be possible says scientists.

Scientists say they have invented a device that uses a magnet to extract bacteria, fungi and toxins from blood, potentially throwing a lifeline to patients with sepsis and other infections.

The external gadget – tested so far in rats but not yet humans – could be adapted one day for stripping Ebola and other viruses from blood, they hope.

While still in the trial stage, this new the bio-spleen could potentially treat patients during the most infectious, viraemic phase of the disease and reduce the amount of virus in their blood, says expert.