Magnetic Drug Targeting (MDT) has been shown to be a promising technique to effectively deliver medicinal drugs via functionalized [1] magnetic particles to target sites during the treatment of cancer and other diseases [2,3,4]. In this paper, we investigate the interaction of steady and pulsatile flows injected with a ferrofluid, which is a colloidal suspension of superparamagnetic nanoparticles in a glass tube under the influence of a magnetic field. Ferrofluids are colloidal suspensions of single domain magnetic nanoparticles that are of the order of 10 nm in diameter. In this experiment, the ferrofluid particles were directed to a particular region of interest within a 10 mm diameter glass vessel by means of an applied localized magnetic field that originated outside of the vessel. The magnetic field was generated using a rare earth sintered permanent magnet which produced the magnetic field gradient required for inducing a body force on the volume of the ferrofluid. The experimental results reveal flows with rich dynamical phenomena. The aggregation of the ferrofluid produces a self-assembled hemispherical structure which dynamically interacts with the host flow. The aggregation generates an occlusion creating a flow field that is similar to that past an obstruction. However, since the structure itself is of a fluidic nature, it is subject to shear forces caused by the host fluid. In addition, the wake of the flow behind the aggregation creates vortices which are critical to study the stability of the ferrofluid aggregate. This paper presents a detailed investigation of the dynamics of the flow using Time-Resolved Digital Particle Image Velocimetry. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, these are the first quantitative, spatiotemporally resolved measurements documenting the interaction of a host fluid with a ferrofluid aggregate under steady or pulsatile flow conditions.

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