Magnetic Steering of Superparamagnetic Nanoparticles in Duct Flow for Molecular Communication: A Feasibility Study
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Molecular communication (MC) denotes information transmission by use of molecules and nanosized particles. For the realization of testbeds, superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) in duct flow have recently been proposed. Here, an experimental setup is provided to direct these particles at a branching of a tube into a specific direction by use of magnetic fields.
For that purpose, gold-coated SPIONs suspended in water at constant flow rate are considered at a Y-shaped connector of tubes. The particles are attracted by use of a custom-made electromagnet, while change of particle concentration in either of the branches is measured by a commercial susceptometer. The approach is evaluated for different flow rates and with the electromagnet both at a fixed position and moving along the tube. Exemplary measurements show that an information transmission is feasible in both approaches and with all tested flow rates.
The feasibility study hence shows that particle steering by use of magnetic fields is a viable approach, which is even robust against flow rate variations. It can thus be used in MC to address different transmission channels as well as to realize differential signal transmission. Furthermore, it might help to improve magnetic drug targeting in future applications.
KeywordsSuperparamagnetic nanoparticles Particle steering Magnetic field Duct flow Molecular communication
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