Biomedical Microdevices

, Volume 9, Issue 6, pp 801–808

Magnetic microparticle steering within the constraints of an MRI system: proof of concept of a novel targeting approach


DOI: 10.1007/s10544-007-9092-0

Cite this article as:
Mathieu, JB. & Martel, S. Biomed Microdevices (2007) 9: 801. doi:10.1007/s10544-007-9092-0


This paper presents a magnetic microparticle steering approach that relies on improved gradient coils for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) systems. A literature review exposes the motivation and advantages of this approach and leads to a description of the requirements for a set of dedicated steering gradient coils in comparison to standard imaging coils. An experimental set-up was developed to validate the mathematical models and the hypotheses arising from this targeting modality. Magnetite Fe3O4 microparticles (dia. 10.9 μm) were steered in a Y-shaped 100 μm diameter microchannel between a Maxwell pair (dB/dz = 443 mT/m) located in the center of an MRI bore with 0.525 m/s mean fluid velocity (ten times faster than in arterioles with same diameter). Experimental results based on the percentage of particles retrieved at the targeted outlet show that the mathematical models developed provide an order of magnitude estimate of the magnetic gradient strengths required. Furthermore, these results establish a proof of concept of microparticle steering using magnetic gradients within an MRI bore for applications in the human cardiovascular system.


Magnetic microparticle steering Gradient coils Maxwell pair MRI systems 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer Engineering and the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, NanoRobotics LaboratoryÉcole Polytechnique de Montréal (EPM)MontréalCanada

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