Smart implants with magnetic nanoparticles


“Smart implants” are made of hybrid materials combining a biological or textile matrix with magnetic nanoparticles. Due to this combination, the properties of such smart implants can be specifically determined and controlled with magnetic fields. The group of Dr. Slabu makes use of this in various ways:

  Student in lab hold magnetic nanoparticles in rotary evaporator Copyright: © Benedikt Marcowka

a) Using alternating magnetic fields, the researchers heat up stents with incorporated magnetic nanoparticles and adjust the temperature in a controlled manner. In this way, they strive to fulfill the requirements for tumor ablation after stent application, for example in the esophagus or the bile duct.

  Two scientist at a light microscope Copyright: © Benedikt Marcowka

b) The researchers develop a physical model to describe the interaction of magnetic nanoparticles with their surrounding matrix. This model enables the in-vivo assessment of implant functionality using medical imaging techniques. Magnetic nanoparticles act as contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging, MRI, as well as magnetic particle imaging, MPI, which are used by physicians to check the function of the implants.


Institut für Textiltechnik RWTH Aachen


  • Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Program “Collective industrial research” (Project „Systematische Prozessauslegung für die Herstellung nanomodifizierter Implantate auf Faserbasis für den Einsatz in der Ablationsthermie“)
  • German Research Foundation, Priority Program 1681 “Field controlled particle matrix interactions: synthesis multiscale modelling and application of magnetic hybrid materials” (Junior research project „Entwicklung einer MRT-gestützten Materialprüfung biodegradierbarer Hybridmaterialien mit inkorporierten magnetischen Nanopartikeln“)