Veronica Iacovacci

Post Doctoral Fellow
The BioRobotics Institute
Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa

Novel microrobot imaging strategies towards closed-loop control in tissues

Medical micro- and nanorobots have been demonstrated for a variety of non-invasive biomedical applications, such as tissue engineering, drug delivery, and assisted fertilization, among others. However, most of these demonstrations have been carried out in in vitro settings and under optical microscopy, being significantly different from the clinical practice. Fine control of biomedical microrobots requires real-time feedback on their position and configuration. Ultrasound imaging stands as a mature, safe and advantageous technology for microrobots tracking, but it suffers from disturbances due to low contrast resolution in realistic biological environments. In this talk, the state of the art of microrobots imaging will be analyzed with a focus on ultrasound contrast enhancement mechanisms for microrobot visualization in echogenic backgrounds. In particular, the use of ultrasound acoustic phase analysis for microrobot imaging and tracking in tissues will be presented. This type of ultrasound imaging in combination with magnetic actuation will finally result in the closed-loop control of magnetic microrobots in realistic environments.