A contactless and biocompatible approach for 3D active microrobotic targeted drug delivery

F. Ongaro, Dennis Niehoff, S. Mohanty*, Sarthak Misra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
71 Downloads (Pure)


As robotic tools are becoming a fundamental part of present day surgical interventions, microrobotic surgery is steadily approaching clinically-relevant scenarios. In particular, minimally invasive microrobotic targeted drug deliveries are reaching the grasp of the current state-of-the-art technology. However, clinically-relevant issues, such as lack of biocompatibility and dexterity, complicate the clinical application of the results obtained in controlled environments. Consequently, in this work we present a proof-of-concept fully contactless and biocompatible approach for active targeted delivery of a drug-model. In order to achieve full biocompatiblity and contacless actuation, magnetic fields are used for motion control, ultrasound is used for imaging, and induction heating is used for active drug-model release. The presented system is validated in a three-dimensional phantom of human vessels, performing ten trials that mimic targeted drug delivery using a drug-coated microrobot. The system is capable of closed-loop motion control with average velocity and positioning error of 0.3 mm/s and 0.4 mm, respectively. Overall, our findings suggest that the presented approach could augment the current capabilities of microrobotic tools, helping the development of clinically-relevant approaches for active in-vivo targeted drug delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Article number504
Number of pages11
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2019


  • Magnetic actuation
  • Microrobotics
  • Minimally-invasive surgery
  • Surgical robotics
  • Targeted drug delivery
  • Ultrasound tracking
  • UT-Gold-D


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