Study of Galfenol direct cytotoxicity and remote microactuation in cells

Carolina Vargas-Estevez, Andreu Blanquer, Prabesh Dulal, Rafael Pérez del Real, Marta Duch, Elena Ibáñez, Leonardo Barrios, Gonzalo Murillo, Núria Torras, Carme Nogués, Bethanie J.H. Stadler, José A. Plaza, Jaume Esteve

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 Elsevier Ltd Remote microactuators are of great interest in biology and medicine as minimally-invasive tools for cellular stimulation. Remote actuation can be achieved by active magnetostrictive transducers which are capable of changing shape in response to external magnetic fields thereby creating controlled displacements. Among the magnetostrictive materials, Galfenol, the multifaceted iron-based smart material, offers high magnetostriction with robust mechanical properties. In order to explore these capabilities for biomedical applications, it is necessary to study the feasibility of material miniaturization in standard fabrication processes as well as evaluate the biocompatibility. Here we develop a technology to fabricate, release, and suspend Galfenol-based microparticles, without affecting the integrity of the material. The morphology, composition and magnetic properties of the material itself are characterized. The direct cytotoxicity of Galfenol is evaluated in vitro using human macrophages, osteoblast and osteosarcoma cells. In addition, cytotoxicity and actuation of Galfenol microparticles in suspension are evaluated using human macrophages. The biological parameters analyzed indicate that Galfenol is not cytotoxic, even after internalization of some of the particles by macrophages. The microparticles were remotely actuated forming intra- and extracellular chains that did not impact the integrity of the cells. The results propose Galfenol as a suitable material to develop remote microactuators for cell biology studies and intracellular applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-74
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017


  • Biocompatibility
  • Galfenol
  • Magnetostriction
  • Microactuators
  • Osteoblast
  • Smart materials


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