Iron is a trace mineral that plays a vital role in the human body. However, absorbing and accumulating excessive iron in body organs (iron overload) can damage or even destroy an organ. Even after many decades of research, progress on the development of noninvasive and low-cost tissue iron detection methods is very limited. Here we report a recent advance in a roomerature ultrasensitive biomagnetic susceptometer for quantitative tissue iron detection. The biomagnetic susceptometer exploits recent advances in the magnetoelectric (ME) composite sensors that exhibit an ultrahigh AC magnetic sensitivity under the presence of a strong DC magnetic field. The first order gradiometer based on piezoelectric and magnetostrictive laminate (ME composite) structure shows an equivalent magnetic noise of 0.99 nT/rt Hz at 1 Hz in the presence of a DC magnetic field of 0.1 Tesla and a great common mode noise rejection ability. A prototype magnetoelectric liver susceptometry has been demonstrated with liver phantoms. The results indicate its output signals to be linearly responsive to iron concentrations from normal iron dose (0.05 mgFe/gliver phantom) to 5 mgFe/gliver phantom iron overload (100X overdose). The results here open up many innovative possibilities for compact-size, portable, cost-affordable, and roomerature operated medical systems for quantitative determinations of tissue iron.
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