Separation of excitation and detection coils for in vivo detection of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles

Melissa Mathilde van de Loosdrecht* (Corresponding Author), Sebastiaan Waanders, Hendrikus J.G. Krooshoop, Bernard ten Haken

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
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A novel probe for laparoscopic in vivo detection of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) has been developed. The main application for in vivo detection of SPIONs our research group aims at is sentinel node biopsy. This is a method to determine if a tumor has spread through the body, which helps to improve cancer patient care. The method we use to selectively detect SPIONs is Differential Magnetometry (DiffMag). DiffMag makes use of small magnetic field strengths in the mT range. For DiffMag, a handheld probe is used that contains excitation and detection coils. However, depth sensitivity of a handheld probe is restricted by the diameter of the coils. Therefore, excitation and detection coils are separated in our novel probe. As a result, excitation coils can be made large and placed underneath a patient to generate a sufficiently large volume for the excitation field. Detection coils are made small enough to be used in laparoscopic surgery. The main challenge of this setup is movement of detection coils with respect to excitation coils. Consequently, the detector signal is obscured by the excitation field, making it impossible to measure the tiny magnetic signature from SPIONs. To measure SPIONs, active compensation is used, which is a way to cancel the excitation field seen by the detection coils. SPIONs were measured in various amounts and at various distances from the excitation coils. Furthermore, SPIONs were measured in proximity to a surgical steel retractor, and 3 L water. It is shown that small amounts of SPIONs (down to 25 μg Fe) can be measured, and SPIONs can be measured up to 20 cm from the top of the excitation coil. Also, surgical steel, and diamagnetism of water – and thus of tissue – have minor influence on DiffMag measurements. In conclusion, these results make this novel probe geometry combined with DiffMag promising for laparoscopic sentinel node biopsy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-569
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of magnetism and magnetic materials
Early online date5 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • Nonlinear susceptibility
  • Sentinel node biopsy
  • Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs)
  • Differential magnetometry


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