SW-4-3-5: Current Modeling and Control Challenges in Medical Nanorobotics

Prof. Antoine Ferreira, Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Ingénieurs de Bourges


This study presents the first steps of design, modeling, simulation and development of a drug delivery microrobotic system (consisting of nanoActuators and nanoSensors) for the propulsion and navigation of ferromagnetic microcapsules in the cardiovascular system controlled by a clinical Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Engineered micro-/nano-devices may be successful vehicles for transporting, delivering and targeting drugs. The integration of ferromagnetic particles allows potential MR-tracking and automatic delivery of the biocarriers through induced forces generated by magnetic gradients. MRI systems offer a level of flexibility, provide concentration and tracking information, real-time interventional capabilities and are already widespread in hospitals. Automatic delivery of these biocarriers to specific regions of the tumor through the lymphatic vessels is of special interest at early cancer diagnostics.

In this presentation we present first, the nanocapsule design constituted of molecular elements that can function as sensors, actuators, drug delivery mechanisms; magnetic components for achieving navigation inside the human body and carbon nanotube-based nanostructures. Second, we present computational studies on controlled navigable micro/nanocapsules which are steered by magnetic gradients generated by the MRI system. The navigation modeling was studied for future development of nanocapsules designed to perform minimally invasive interventions in remote sites accessible through the human cardiovascular system (from aorta-to-capillary networks). Third, different modeling methodologies and simulations have been developed for robust control in-vivo navigation in the cardiovascular system. Finally, some micro/nanofabrication technologies (magnetic carbon nanotube-based nanocapsules and novel polymer micelle nanocarrier, based on watersoluble amphiphilic block copolymers are presented.

Speaker Biography

Antoine Ferreira (M’04) received the M.S. and  Ph.D. degrees in electrical and electronics engineering from the University of Franche-Comté, Besancon,  France, in 1993 and 1996, respectively.  In 1997, he was a Visiting Researcher in the ElectroTechnical Laboratory, Tsukuba, Japan. He is currently a Professor of robotics engineering at  the Laboratoire PRISME, Ecole Nationale Supérieure  d’Ingénieurs de Bourges, Bourges, France. He is an  author of three books on micro- and nanorobotics and more than 140 journal and conference papers and book contributions. His research interests include the design, modeling, and control of micro and nanorobotic systems using active materials, micro- and  nanomanipulation systems, biological nanosystems, and bionanorobotics.  Dr. Ferreira was the Guest Editor for different special issues of the  IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics in 2009, International Journal of Robotics Research in 2009, and the IEEE Nanotechnology Magazine in 2008. He is actually associate editor in Reviews in Advanced Sciences and Engineering.