SAMBA PATI (Smart Application of Magnetic-Based Particle Therapy and Imaging)

The aim of the SAMBA-PATI project, "Smart Application of Magnetic-based Particle Therapy and Imaging", is to expand the Magnetic Particle Imaging (MPI) process for therapeutic applications. The MPI method enables the imaging of the distribution of magnetic nanoparticles in the human body with a high sensitivity, resolution and frame rate. In this project, the magnetic nanoparticles are set in motion by an alternating magnetic field and the surrounding tissue is heated in order to destroy tumor cells or increase the effectiveness of chemo- or radiotherapeutic applications. The aim of SAMBA PATI work at the Ruhr University Bochum is to integrate a diagnostic and a therapeutic ultrasound unit (HIFU, High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) into the MPI system in order to generate targeted tissue heating and tumor destruction. The combination of these two therapies and imaging systems results in several innovative combinations of the procedures and a novel instrumentation of this theranostic concept.

MPIsystem Commercially available, preclinical MPI system (left) and concept of a multi-element HIFU transducer with adaptive focus control for tissue heating and tumor destruction (right).


Based on the geometry of a preclinical MPI system, a therapy and diagnostic unit is to be developed in combination with an ultrasound device, which will be introduced as a therapy module into the MPI device. Suitable nanoparticles, which on the one hand respond with non-linear magnetisation by targeted sinusoidal magnetic field excitation are used for imaging. On the other hand these particles can absorb energy from the magnetic field and can thus also be used for selective heating. Higher frequencies are required for good spatial focusing of the heating than in pure MPI imaging. For this purpose, an additional coil is to be inserted into the measuring field. In addition, an ultrasonic unit (HIFU unit) is to be combined with this coil, resulting in several innovative combinations of the two techniques.

The following partners form the project consortium:

  • University of Lübeck
  • Bruker BioSpin

The SAMBA PATI project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research - BMBF grant 13GW0069A.