Investigation of a Lorentz force biomagnetometer

Bruce C. Towe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This work evaluates an approach to the noninvasive measurement of small ionic current flows by a technique of Lorentz force magnetometry. An instrument was constructed that is basically a very sensitive force-balance that can measure Lorentz forces experienced by ionic currents flowing in small objects when exposed to strong oscillating magnetic fields. For objects that can fit on a microscope slide, the system is sensitive to ion current dipole moments as low as 180 pA-m. Images were made of ionic currents flowing in thin profiles by a process of scanning a localized magnetic field over the object, measuring generated Lorentz forces, and using a computer to reconstruct images. It can be shown that this method of Lorentz magnetometry has an immunity to ambient magnetic noise and has system characteristics that might suggest its possible use in biomagnetometry of small thin specimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-461
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1997


  • Biocurrent measurement
  • biomagnetometry
  • ionic current measurement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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