Research 5

Magneto-thermoresponsive Devices


In the course of this project, we develop an implantable microdevice for drug delivery that is based on a remotely triggered membrane. The composite membrane consists of a thermosensitive polymer hydrogel as the switching entity that can be triggered by superparamagnetic nanoparticles or magnetic nanowires. Both trigger mechanism provide the thermal energy required to open the membrane upon application of an alternating magnetic field. In addition, magnetostrictive nanowires allow to apply mechanical energy to the membrane through vibration. The nanowires can also be grown in a highly ordered manner by electroplating providing the means to apply tailored functionalities to specific areas of the membrane. The membrane will be mounted on a biocompatible/ inert microchip that can enable rapid, repeatable, remote, and tunable drug delivery. Such a device will have countless biomedical applications especially for alzheimers, diabetes, and cancer patients.

                 Concept of the drug delivery system.

  SEM image of nanopores in which magnetic nanowires 
  for membrane trigger mechanism are grown. 

  SEM image of magnetic nanowires for membrane trigger.


Prof. Liwei Lin, Prof. Albert Pisano, Berkeley
Prof. Nivien Khashab, Prof. Ian Foulds, KAUST