Highly efficient magnetic ablation and the contrast of various imaging using biocompatible liquid–metal gallium

Chiang Wen Lee, Ming Hsien Chiang, Wen Chun Wei, Shu Shien Liao, Yen Bin Liu, Kuan Chih Huang, Kuen Lin Chen, Wen Cheng Kuo, Yuan Ching Sung, Ting Yuan Chen, Ju Fang Liu, Yao Chang Chiang, Hsin Nung Shih, Kuo Ti Peng, Jen Jie Chieh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Although the powerful clinical effects of radiofrequency and microwave ablation have been established, such ablation is associated with several limitations, including a small ablation size, a long ablation time, the few treatment positioning, and biosafety risks. To overcome these limitations, biosafe and efficient magnetic ablation was achieved in this study by using biocompatible liquid gallium as an ablation medium and a contrast medium for imaging. Results: Magnetic fields with a frequency (f) lower than 200 kHz and an amplitude (H) × f value lower than 5.0 × 109 Am−1 s−1 were generated using the proposed method. These fields could generate an ablation size of 3 cm in rat liver lobes under a temperature of approximately 300 °C and a time of 20 s. The results of this study indicate that biomedical gallium can be used as a contrast medium for the positioning of gallium injections and the evaluation of ablated tissue around a target site. Liquid gallium can be used as an ablation medium and imaging contrast medium because of its stable retention in normal tissue for at least 3 days. Besides, the high anticancer potential of gallium ions was inferred from the self-degradation of 100 µL of liquid gallium after around 21 days of immersion in acidic solutions. Conclusions: The rapid wireless ablation of large or multiple lesions was achieved through the simple multi-injection of liquid gallium. This approach can replace the currently favoured procedure involving the use of multiple ablation probes, which is associated with limited benefits and several side effects. Methods: Magnetic ablation was confirmed to be highly efficient by the consistent results obtained in the simulation and in vitro tests of gallium and iron oxide as well as the electromagnetic specifics and thermotherapy performance comparison detailed in this study Ultrasound imaging, X-ray imaging, and magnetic resonance imaging were found to be compatible with the proposed magnetic ablation method. Self-degradation analysis was conducted by mixing liquid gallium in acidic solutions with a pH of approximately 5–7 (to imitate a tumour-containing microenvironment). X-ray diffraction was used to identify the gallium oxides produced by degraded gallium ions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number38
JournalBioMedical Engineering Online
Issue number1
StatePublished - 12 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


  • Biosafety
  • Imaging
  • Magnetic ablation
  • Self-degradation
  • Wireless


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