Real-Time IR Tracking of Single Reflective Micromotors through Scattering Tissues


Medical micromotors have the potential to lead to a paradigm shift in future biomedicine, as they may perform active drug delivery, microsurgery, tissue engineering, or assisted fertilization in a minimally invasive manner. However, the translation to clinical treatment is challenging, as many applications of single or few micromotors require real-time tracking and control at high spatiotemporal resolution in deep tissue. Although optical techniques are a popular choice for this task, absorption and strong light scattering lead to a pronounced decrease of the signal-to-noise ratio with increasing penetration depth. Here, a highly reflective micromotor is introduced which reflects more than tenfold the light intensity of simple gold particles and can be precisely navigated by external magnetic fields. A customized optical IR imaging setup and an image correlation technique are implemented to track single micromotors in real-time and label-free underneath phantom and ex vivo mouse skull tissues. As a potential application, the micromotors speed is recorded when moving through different viscous fluids to determine the viscosity of diverse physiological fluids toward remote cardiovascular disease diagnosis. Moreover, the micromotors are loaded with a model drug to demonstrate their cargo-transport capability. The proposed reflective micromotor is suitable as theranostic tool for sub-skin or organ-on-a-chip applications. © 2019 The Authors. Published by WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

medical microbots, mice skull tissues, micro-reflectors, micromotors, phantoms, real-time tracking
Aziz, A., Medina-Sánchez, M., Koukourakis, N., Wang, J., Kuschmierz, R., Radner, H., et al. (2019). Real-Time IR Tracking of Single Reflective Micromotors through Scattering Tissues (Version publishedVersion, Vol. 29). Version publishedVersion, Vol. 29. Weinheim : Wiley-VCH.