Radiopaque Nanorobots as Magnetically Navigable Contrast Agents for Localized In Vivo Imaging of the Gastrointestinal Tract

Cagatay M. Oral, Martina Ussia, Mario Urso, Jiri Salat, Adam Novobilsky, Michal Stefanik, Daniel Ruzek, Martin Pumera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Magnetic nanorobots offer wireless navigation capability in hard-to-reach areas of the human body for targeted therapy and diagnosis. Though in vivo imaging is required for guidance of the magnetic nanorobots toward the target areas, most of the imaging techniques are inadequate to reveal the potential locomotion routes. This work proposes the use of radiopaque magnetic nanorobots along with microcomputed tomography (microCT) for localized in vivo imaging applications. The nanorobots consist of a contrast agent, barium sulfate (BaSO4), magnetized by the decoration of magnetite (Fe3O4) particles. The magnetic features lead to actuation under rotating magnetic fields and enable precise navigation in a microfluidic channel used to simulate confined spaces of the body. In this channel, the intrinsic radiopacity of the nanorobots also provides the possibility to reveal the internal structures by X-ray contrast. Furthermore, in vitro analysis indicates nontoxicity of the nanorobots. In vivo experiments demonstrate localization of the nanorobots in a specific part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract upon the influence of the magnetic field, indicating the efficient control even in the presence of natural peristaltic movements. The nanorobots reported here highlight that smart nanorobotic contrast agents can improve the current imaging-based diagnosis techniques by providing untethered controllability in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2202682
JournalAdvanced Healthcare Materials
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Mar 24

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
M.P. acknowledges the financial support of Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (EXPRO: 19–26896X). C.M.O. acknowledges the grant CEITEC‐K‐21‐7049 implemented within the Quality Internal Grants of BUT (Reg. No. CZ.02.2.69/0.0/0.0/19_073/0016948) which is financed from OP VVV. CzechNanoLab project LM2018110 funded by MEYS CR is gratefully acknowledged for the financial support of the measurements/sample fabrication at CEITEC Nano Research Infrastructure. A.N. and D.R. acknowledge the financial support by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic OPVVV Project FIT (CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/15_003/0000495) and Czech Ministry of Agriculture grant RO0518.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Wiley-VCH GmbH.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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