Medical Imaging of Microrobots: Toward In Vivo Applications
Azaam Aziz(The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant i)
Italy | ACS Nano 2020

■  View full text

ACS Nano 2020,



■ Researchers

Azaam Aziz, Stefano Pane, Veronica Iacovacci*, Arianna Menciassi, 

The BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant is Anna, Italy

Nektarios Koukourakis, Jürgen Czarske, Mariana Medina-Sánchez*, and Oliver G. Schmidt

Chair of Measurement and Sensor System Technique, School of Engineering, Germany



■ Abstract

Medical microrobots (MRs) have been demonstrated for a variety of non-invasive biomedical applications, such as tissue engineering, drug delivery, and assisted fertilization, among others. However, most of these demonstrations have been carried out in in vitro settings and under optical microscopy, being significantly different from the clinical practice. Thus, medical imaging techniques are required for localizing and tracking such tiny therapeutic machines when used in medical-relevant applications. This review aims at analyzing the state of the art of microrobots imaging by critically discussing the potentialities and limitations of the techniques employed in this field. Moreover, the physics and the working principle behind each analyzed imaging strategy, the spatiotemporal resolution, and the penetration depth are thoroughly discussed. The paper deals with the suitability of each imaging technique for tracking single or swarms of MRs and discusses the scenarios where contrast or imaging agent’s inclusion is required, either to absorb, emit, or reflect a determined physical signal detected by an external system. Finally, the review highlights the existing challenges and perspective solutions which could be promising for future in vivo applications.


  • medical microrobots
  • vivo imaging micromotors imaging real-time tracking
  • Magnetic resonance imaging,
  • Biological imaging
  • swarm tracking
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