Actuation of a magnetically coated swimmer in viscous media with a magnetic particle imaging scanner

Anna C. Bakenecker*, Thorsten M. Buzug, Carlos Chinchilla

*Corresponding author for this work


Magnetic actuation of medical devices is of great interest in improving minimally invasive surgery and enabling targeted drug delivery. With untethered, magnetically coated swimmers it is aimed at reaching regions of the body difficult to access with catheters. Such a swimmer was previously presented, which is suitable for the navigation by the magnetic fields of a magnetic particle imaging (MPI) scanner. The swimmer could be imaged with MPI as well, enabling the tomographic real-time tracking of the actuation process. In this work the steerability of the swimmer is further investigated in media of varying viscosities. For this, glycerol-water-mixtures of different mixing ratios were used. The velocities of the swimmer were measured for viscosities between those of pure glycerol and pure water. The experiments were performed with an MPI scanner at maximal magnetic field strength of the actuating fields. A viscosity range was found in which the swimmer is steerable by the fields of an MPI scanner, which leads to a prediction of the applicability of the swimmer in different body fluids.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20203090
JournalCurrent Directions in Biomedical Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01.09.2020


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