Research

My master thesis

My thesis is a contribution to the development of new targeting methods for therapeutic agent in the vascular network, based on the magnetic steering of magnetic microparticles.

An actuator suitable for this application has to generate pulses with amplitude of several hundred of milliteslas per meter and duration of several hundred of milliseconds in order to steer those agents. In order to achieve pre-clinical tests, the actuator has to be rabbit-sized. It also has to be scalable at human scale for future clinical tests. Finally, dynamic properties of the actuator have to allow good steering efficiency without putting the patient in danger.

The first hypothesis which has driven this thesis is that it is possible to design an actuator able to steer therapeutic magnetic micro carrier through at least two bifurcations of the vascular system of a rabbit.
The second hypothesis is that such an actuator can be scaled up at human size.

Longitudinal and transverse coils studied in my thesis fulfill very well these requirements. Their main features are:

  1. to have an internal diameter of 300 mm to receive a rabbit;
  2. to produce pulses with an amplitude of 400 mT.m-1 with a 12.5% linearity in a 8 mm diameter sphere;
  3. to use commercially available power sources;
  4. to be scalable to human size.

This report presents all the stages of our research work:

  1. the precise definition of the uses of the actuator. In order to get those specifications, we have designed the corresponding rabbit in-vivo tests. Those specifications include the number and duration of the pulses used to realize those tests;
  2. the design of the actuator, according to the expected in-vivo conditions. The current rise time inside the coils has been carefully determined, in order to maximize the performance and the security of the actuator;
  3. the validation of the steering through two bifurcations has been done, using a prototype;
  4. the scaling at the human size and the impact on the power needs for this actuator.

The results of this thesis will help engineers to use this actuator in the coming experiments, and to define with more precision the application limits of the technology for all the coming medical applications.

My second internship

It was an Engineer internship at EPM in Laboratoire de NanoRobotique. I worked on the nanofiber project. It aims to produce 3D networks of nano-sized conductive fibers for applications in electronic and hybrid systems-on-a-chip (SoC). I adapted an existing robotic platform to make it produce a nanofibers network in 3D with sub-micrometer precision at high throughput.

My first internship

It was a Bachelor Internship at EPFL, in LSRO lab in HPR group. I developed setups to characterize micro-manipulators (1cm3) from nano to macro displacement and worked on a platform to use several manipulators in close-loop control, based on image processing, under an optical microscope or a scanning electron microscope.