Magnetic Carrier Meeting 2016 a Big Success !

February 12, 2017

The 11th International Conference on the Scientific and Clinical Applications of Magnetic Carriers took place in Vancouver, Canada from May 31 - June 4, 2016 and was like always a great week full of new magnetic particle results, discussions and applications. Everybody had a great time in Vancouver, Canada, especially during the reception underneath the 26 m long whale skeleton or during our boat ride.

And our special issue in the Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials is now finally out too. As always, there are lots of articles with new research - to be exact, 58 articles with novel research! Go and check them out here.

The World's Smallest Magnet: A Single Atom

March 18, 2017

IBM has created the world’s smallest magnet using a single atom, and stored one bit of data on it. Currently, hard disk drives use about 100,000 atoms to store a single bit. The ability to read and write one bit on one atom creates new possibilities for developing significantly smaller and denser storage devices, that could someday, for example, enable storing the entire iTunes library of 35 million songs on a device the size of a credit card.
Today’s breakthrough builds on 35 years of nanotechnology history at IBM, including the invention of the Nobel prize-winning scanning tunneling microscope. IBM announced it will be building the world’s first commercial quantum computers for business and science. Future scanning tunneling microscope studies will investigate the potential of performing quantum information processing using individual magnetic atoms.
“Magnetic bits lie at the heart of hard-disk drives, tape and next-generation magnetic memory,” said Christopher Lutz, lead nanoscience researcher at IBM Research – Almaden in San Jose, California. “We conducted this research to understand what happens when you shrink technology down to the most fundamental extreme, the atomic scale.”
By starting at the smallest unit of common matter, the atom, scientists demonstrated the reading and writing of a bit of information to the atom by using electrical current.  They showed that two magnetic atoms could be written and read independently even when they were separated by just one nanometer, a distance that is only a millionth the width of a pin head. This tight spacing could eventually yield magnetic storage that is 1,000 times denser than today’s hard disk drives and solid state memory chips. Future applications of nanostructures built with control over the position of every atom could allow people and businesses to store 1,000 times more information in the same space, someday making data centers, computers and personal devices radically smaller and more powerful.
The IBM scientists used a scanning tunneling microscope (STM), an IBM invention that won the 1986 Nobel Prize for Physics, to build and measure isolated single-atom bits using the holmium atoms. The custom microscope operates in extreme vacuum conditions to eliminate interference by air molecules and other contamination. The microscope also uses liquid helium for cooling that allows the atoms to retain their magnetic orientations long enough to be written and read reliably.

Frontiers in Biomagnetic Particles 2017 - June 5-7

March 10, 2017

There are few more perfect places to discuss the cutting edge of magnetic particle research than beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, U.S.A. This 3 day meeting will include fantastic talks, and presentations from the leaders in the field of magnetic nanoparticles for biomedical applications. This conference will bring a diverse group of disciplines together to discuss the frontiers in the characterization and control of magnetic carriers. The program includes invited talks, contributed talks, and posters. A separate session focused on career development for students will also be included.
A social event will also be held the evening before the meeting on Sunday, June 4, 2017 to greet friends and colleagues, old and new.

Ferrofluid Workshop 2017 - in Dresden

March 10, 2017

The basic idea in 1997, when we started the first ferrofluid workshop in Bremen (at that time „Bremer Ferrofluidworkshop“) had been to coordinate the few groups working with ferrofluids in Germany a bit better and to induce a somewhat stronger interaction. The result of this activity had been the establishment of the first DFG priority program for this field of research – the SPP 1104. In addition a series of conferences has been established – now lasting for 20 years.

The 16th German Ferrofluid Workshop (only 16, not 20 since no workshops had been held in the years of the international ICMF conferences) stands therefore for a remarkable anniversary. 20 years with continuous development of the research field, with the establishment of a second DFG priority program and with permanently growing interest in the national research community are a clear indication that a sustainable structure has been developed.This anniversary will be celebrated this year in Dresden – where the workshop has never been held before. Therefore we invite you for the 16th German Ferrofluid Workshop from July 17th till 19th to Dresden. The usual details for the conference, the registration and all further details can be found on the website under

Stefan Odenbach is looking forward to welcome you in Dresden mid of July!

Tiny Magnetic Implant Offers New Drug Delivery Method

March 02, 2017

University of British Columbia researchers have developed a magnetic drug implant that could offer an alternative for patients struggling with numerous pills or intravenous injections. The device, a silicone sponge with magnetic carbonyl iron particles wrapped in a round polymer layer, measures just six millimetres in diameter. The drug is injected into the device and then surgically implanted in the area being treated. Passing a magnet over the patient’s skin activates the device by deforming the sponge and triggering the release of the drug into surrounding tissue through a tiny opening.
“Drug implants can be safe and effective for treating many conditions, and magnetically controlled implants are particularly interesting because you can adjust the dose after implantation by using different magnet strengths. Many other implants lack that feature,” said study author Ali Shademani, a PhD student in the biomedical engineering program at UBC.
Actively controlling drug delivery is particularly relevant for conditions like diabetes, where the required dose and timing of insulin varies from patient to patient, said co-author John K. Jackson, a research scientist in UBC’s faculty of pharmaceutical sciences. “This device lets you release the actual dose that the patient needs when they need it, and it’s sufficiently easy to use that patients could administer their own medication one day without having to go to a hospital,” said Jackson.
The researchers tested their device on animal tissue in the lab using the prostate cancer drug docetaxel. They found that it was able to deliver the drug on demand even after repeated use. The drug also produced an effect on cancer cells comparable to that of freshly administered docetaxel, proving that drugs stored in the device stay effective. Mu Chiao, Shademani’s supervisor and a professor of mechanical engineering at UBC, said the team is working on refining the device and narrowing down the conditions for its use. “This could one day be used for administering painkillers, hormones, chemotherapy drugs and other treatments for a wide range of health conditions. In the next few years we hope to be able to test it for long-term use and for viability in living models,” said Chiao.
“Active regulation of on-demand drug delivery by magnetically triggerable microspouters” was recently published online in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

Interested in Going to the "European School on Magnetism"?

March 01, 2017

The next session of the "European School on Magnetism" (ESM) series will take place in Cargèse, Corsica, France, from October 9-21th, 2017. The European School on Magnetism is a pan-European event organized under the umbrella of the European Magnetism Association. 

Submit your application from 1st March to 15th April here.

Theme Issue

December 10, 2016

The journal "Interface Focus" just published a theme issue about ‘Multifunctional nanostructures for diagnosis and therapy of diseases’. Check it out, there are few relevant articles in there for our magnetic particle community.

Check out the articles here:

Thank you Beata Kalska-Szostko, Claudio Sangregorio, Nguyen TK Thanh and Sylvie Bégin-Colin for organizing this issue!

Tiny Magnetic Sensors Might Open Door to Hand-Held Tests

November 13, 2016

In 2008, Dr. Freeman and his team developed a tiny magnetic sensing device, called a torque magnetometer, on a piece of silicon chip that is smaller than the diameter of a strand of human hair. The device features a tiny spatula-shaped arm suspended on a narrow band of material that twists ever so slightly when the arm is pulled up or down by a magnetic field.
    Now, Dr. Freeman has joined forces with scientists at the University of Calgary and the National Institute for Nanotechnology to add a nanoscale optical system that can measure the position of the arm to extraordinary precision by setting up a pattern of laser light along its length. The system is so sensitive it can record a displacement in the tip of the spatula as small as the diameter of a proton. In a paper in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, the scientists document their latest version of the device and demonstrate its ability to sense magnetic forces at scales far smaller than the device itself.
    There could be a host of uses for such a tool, the researchers say, including probing and characterizing the magnetic properties of new materials that are being developed for future applications in electronics and quantum computing.
    But the most imaginative use may be in the area known as magnetic spectrometry. Because different species of atoms have magnetic properties that can be distinguished from one another, it’s possible to use magnetism to tell them apart. The method can be used like a chemical fingerprint. Such measurements are performed today with bench-sized or even room-sized machines. The Alberta researching team appears to have hit upon a way to shrink the capability down to a microscopic device that could be carried around to determine the composition of different materials.

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Photo of the Month
June 2012
Magnets usually attract magnetic materials, however, two or more magnets can be arranged to generate a push force as can be seen in the video where a steel ball bearing is levitated against gravity. This movie is from Azeem Sarwar, and Ben Shapiro at the University of Maryland College Park, USA (2012).

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