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Mambo Project

Development of microrobots able to navigate inside the human body

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Magnetically actuated microrobots were proposed more than a decade ago for accessing remote areas of the human body. The EU-funded MAMBO project (Magnetic swArms for liver chemoeMBOlization) aims to develop this revolutionary approach for specific clinical applications including liver chemoembolization. The main idea is to improve cancer chemotherapy and existing chemoembolization procedures using magnetic forces to target chemotherapeutics to the specific region and achieve stable embolization of the tumor blood vessels. The project will develop drug-loaded soft microrobots responsive to ultrasound and magnetic fields. Magnetic swarm control techniques will be employed to enable the microrobots locomotion in biologically relevant fluids. This will enable microrobot swelling and controlled vessel occlusion while providing simultaneous ultrasound-based imaging to guarantee their tracking in vivo.

BUDGET: € 252.525,12
PERIOD: Sep 2020 - Aug 2023
MSCA FELLOW: Dr. Veronica Iacovacci
SUPERVISOR: Prof. Arianna Menciassi
PARTNER ORGANIZATION: The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Short CV of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellow

Dr. Veronica Iacovacci is a Marie Curie Global Fellow with a double appointment at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (SSSA - Pisa, Italy) and CUHK. Dr. Iacovacci received her PhD in BioRobotics from SSSA in 2017 and she worked as Post Doctoral Fellow in SSSA and ETH Zurich. Her main research interest include microrobots and their medical applications with a particular focus on magnetic microsystems for targeted therapy and smart catheters. During her fellowship, she will focus on new therapeutic solutions enabled by smart magnetic microrobot swarms.
She is author or co-author of 13 scientific publications on international journals, 30 conference papers and 2 book chapter. She is also inventor of 2 international patents. She participated as invited speaker to several international conferences on robotics and microrobotics for medical applications (ICRA, MARSS) and she was co-organizer of a special session (MARSS 2017) and of a workshop (Hamlyn symposium on medical robotics 2019) focused on the employment of microrobotics technologies in clinical applications. She was awarded with national prices for her MsC and PhD thesis, with the Zeno Karl Schindler Foundation Doctoral Exchange Grant and with the best presentation award in the framework of the Euspen Challenge 2014. She currently serves as a reviewer for more than 20 ISI journals and peer-reviewed conferences.


  • Aziz, A., Pane, S., Iacovacci, V., Koukourakis, N., Czarske, J., Menciassi, A., Medina-Sanchéz, M., & Schmidt, O. G. (2020). Medical imaging of microrobots: toward in vivo applications. ACS nano, 14(9), 10865-10893.
  • Pane, S., Iacovacci, V., Sinibaldi, E., & Menciassi, A. (2021). Real-time imaging and tracking of microrobots in tissues using ultrasound phase analysis. Applied Physics Letters, 118(1), 014102.