29 Sep '12, 8pm

Magnetic Microbots to Fight Cancer

But there’s a way to get around the projectile problem. Consider the pig experiment. First, as the metal bead slips through the catheter into the artery, only the main magnet is turned on. Its field strongly magnetizes the bead, but because the field is uniform, the bead doesn’t move. In this “supermagnetized” state, a slight tug from the gradient coils will nudge the bead forward without increasing its magnetization. This prevents the bead from catapulting toward the source of the pull—as it would in the presence of a permanent magnet—and allows us to control its acceleration. It also lets us reduce the size of the bead and still move it anywhere in the body using relatively weak gradients. Then, by shifting the direction of the gradient field with precise algorithmic instructions, we can steer the bead through the artery.

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/robotics/medical-robots/magnetic...

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