Experimental comparison of four nonlinear magnetic detection methods and considerations on clinical usability

Melissa van de Loosdrecht*, Leon Abelmann, Bennie ten Haken

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

35 Downloads (Pure)


Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) are promising for clinical applications, because they have a characteristic nonlinear magnetic response when an external magnetic field is applied. This nonlinearity enables the distinct detection of SPIONs and makes measurements less sensitive to the human body and surgical steel instruments. In clinical applications, only a limited field strength for the magnetic detection is allowed. The signal to noise ratios (SNRs) of four nonlinear magnetic detection methods are compared. These methods include differential magnetometry and three variations of magnetic particle spectroscopy: frequency mixing, second harmonic detection and third harmonic detection. All methods were implemented on the same hardware and experimentally compared for various field strengths. To make the comparison fair, the same power was supplied to the excitation coil each time. In general, the SNR increases with increasing field strength. The SNR per drive field of all methods stabilizes or even decreases for field strengths above 6 mT. The second harmonic detection has the best SNR and the most room for improvement.
Original languageEnglish
Article number015018
JournalBiomedical Physics and Engineering Express
Issue number1
Early online date27 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2020


  • magnetic nanoparticles
  • SPIONs
  • magnetic detection
  • nonlinear
  • clinical usability


Dive into the research topics of 'Experimental comparison of four nonlinear magnetic detection methods and considerations on clinical usability'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this