Carnegie Mellon University
May 20, 2011

Press Release: Carnegie Mellon and INTA Collaborate To Develop A Sensing Tool To Track Magnetic Nanoparticles For Tissue Engineering

Outstanding Research Supports Work To Improve Tissue Scaffolds For Regenerative Medicine

Contact: Chriss Swaney / 412-268-5776 /

PITTSBURGH—Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the Instituto de Tecnica Aereoespacial (INTA) in Madrid, Spain have built a MEMS-based sensor for tracking magnetic nanoparticles used to tag tissue scaffolds.

The sensor was conceived at INTA for use in identifying extraterrestrial magnetic materials. Carnegie Mellon's Michael McHenry and David Laughlin, and Marina Diaz-Michelena, a researcher in payloads and instrumentation and head of the Space Magnetism Unit at INTA, Spain's equivalent of NASA, supervised a Carnegie Mellon senior capstone design project to demonstrate sensor potential for biomedical engineering applications.

"We are developing new tools to track magnetic nanoparticles that can be used to add functionality on tissue scaffolds for regenerative medicine," said McHenry, a professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Biomedical Engineering.

The work was featured on the April 2011 cover of the prestigious Journal of Applied Physics. Carnegie Mellon Materials Science Engineering graduate students Nick Jones of Philadelphia, Pa.; Kate McNerny of Greensburg, Pa.; and Vincent Sokalski of Pittsburgh, Pa., were co-authors of the paper describing the research in the Journal of Applied Physics.

Magnetic nanoparticles have recently been the focus of much research because they possess attractive properties for use in biomedicine, magnetic resonance imaging, magnetic particle imaging, energy and environmental remediation. Tissue scaffolds hold the potential for researchers and physicians to heal burn victims or battlefield injuries.