A standard inferior vena cava (IVC) filter is plated with Nickel in order to be rendered magnetizable. In the presence of an applied magnetic field, the IVC filter has a strong magnetic gradient near the surface that captures circulating tumor cells (CTCs) tagged with paramagnetic nanoparticles. Particle motion and capture includes a balance of the magnetization force and hydrodynamic drag force. ANSYS Fluent CFD software and ANSYS Workbench Magnetostatics were used independently to obtain fluid velocity and magnetic field intensity solutions. The separate solutions were combined in Matlab for numerical particle tracking. Empirical capture efficiency was determined using in-flow spectrometer absorbance measurements as well as measuring image intensity from time-lapse fluorescent images. Three control experiments were used to ensure particles caught in the continuous flow loop are not falsely attributed to the magnetizable IVC filter. Fluorescent magnetite coated spheres, 8.34 micron in diameter, were used for developing methods while magnetically tagged cancer cells were used to determine practical feasibility. Results from the numerical model predict eight percent capture efficiency for a single pass through the IVC filter. Experimental results showed capture efficiency of paramagnetic particles in a continuous loop at 0.3 L/min was ninety-five percent after six hours. For the same experiment, tagged cancer cells resulted in capture efficiency up to ten percent after two hours. A second trial was unable to confirm the magnetized IVC filter had a distinguishable effect on the tagged cancer cells. This work has provided reasonable empirical evidence and numerical results to confirm the feasibility of using a nickel-plated IVC filter for capturing tagged cancer cells.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Cancer cells--Proliferation--Prevention; Magnetization--Mathematical models
Department, Program, or Center
Mechanical Engineering (KGCOE)
Wheaton, Jay, "Feasibility of capturing circulating tumor cells with a magnetized device" (2013). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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