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, 13, 157-84

MRI-guided Nanorobotic Systems for Therapeutic and Diagnostic Applications

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MRI-guided Nanorobotic Systems for Therapeutic and Diagnostic Applications

Panagiotis Vartholomeos et al. Annu Rev Biomed Eng.

Abstract

This review presents the state of the art of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided nanorobotic systems that can perform diagnostic, curative, and reconstructive treatments in the human body at the cellular and subcellular levels in a controllable manner. The concept of an MRI-guided nanorobotic system is based on the use of an MRI scanner to induce the required external driving forces to propel magnetic nanocapsules to a specific target. It is an active targeting mechanism that provides simultaneous propulsion and imaging capabilities, which allow the implementation of real-time feedback control of the targeting process. The architecture of the system comprises four main modules: (a) the nanocapsules, (b) the MRI propulsion module, (c) the MRI tracking module (for image processing), and (d) the controller module. A key concept is the nanocapsule technology, which is based on carriers such as liposomes, polymer micelles, gold nanoparticles, quantum dots, metallic nanoshells, and carbon nanotubes. Descriptions of the significant challenges faced by the MRI-guided nanorobotic system are presented, and promising solutions proposed by the involved research community are discussed. Emphasis is placed on reviewing the limitations imposed by the scaling effects that dominate within the blood vessels and also on reviewing the control algorithms and computational tools that have been developed for real-time propulsion and tracking of the nanocapsules.

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