Magnetically actuated artificial membranes for biotechnology

Published : 18 October 2019

New biocompatible magneto-elastic membranes have recently been developed at SPINTEC, based on the integration of magnetic microparticles previously investigated in biological studies [1]. Our earlier studies aimed at cancer cells destruction, through the low frequency magneto-mechanical vibrations of the particles dispersed among the cells [2). Here, on the contrary, magnetic particles are patterned in an array embedded in a transparent polymer film, the whole membrane being partially released and free to be deformed by application of a magnetic field. The great potential of such elastic magnetic membranes lies in their ability to be remotely actuated by an external magnetic field. The fabrication process of these membranes has already been established in the PTA clean room located in our building (Plateforme de Technologie Amont). For understanding the membranes behavior in an applied magnetic field, the magnetic state of the embedded particles will be investigated by vibrating sample magnetometry (VSM) and Magnetic Force Microscopy  (MFM) (See Fig.1). Membranes with various compositions and dimensions will be then optically characterized with the objective of determining their micrometric deformations versus applied field. This study will be mostly experimental but may also include a modeling of the micromagnetic behavior of the particles and of the optical diffraction pattern produced by the deformable membrane. Such magneto-elastic membranes may be used as building blocks in a variety of applications combining magnetism, biology, biophysics, optics such as bioreactor cores for stimulating living cell functions, artificial muscles, components in adaptive optics, etc.

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