dr. Annelies Coene (PhD)

CRIG member
Annelies Coene

Post-doctoral fellow -  Electrical Energy Laboratory, Dept. of Electrical Energy, Metals, Mechanical Constructions & Systems (Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, UGent)
Principal investigator: prof. Luc Dupré


Research focus

The cancer-related research at our lab is focused on magnetic nanoparticles. These particles are increasingly used in the medical field because of their unique properties. For example, their small size allows them to interact directly with various biological entities such as cells and genes and to reach almost every site in the human body. Second, because they are magnetic, the particles can be controlled remotely, allowing for example the targeted delivery of medicine to diseased sites (i.e. drug targeting). Furthermore, their magnetic response can be measured non-invasively to find their location in the human body. A third interesting property is their ability to generate heat when applying the appropriate magnetic fields (i.e. magnetic hyperthermia). This increases the temperature of the surrounding tissue and hence can be used to destroy malignant cells.

Four main research topics on these particles are considered: 

  • advancing biomedical applications of these particles such as drug targeting, magnetic hyperthermia and disease detection and investigate possible combinations of applications in diagnostics and therapy (i.e. theranostics)
  • development and analysis of non-invasive imaging techniques to localize the magnetic nanoparticles, in order for the applications to be safe and efficient (e.g. only unhealthy tissue is heated and targeted) and possible parallel use of application and imaging
  • improve modelling of nanoparticle interactions and behavior (in the body and between particles)
  • use of machine learning techniques, big data and inverse problems in particle modelling


Annelies Coene (°1988) obtained the degree of “Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering” from Ghent University in 2009. Subsequently, in 2011 she received the degree of “Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering” with great honor granted by Ghent University and Vrije Universiteit Brussels. In 2017 she obtained her PhD in Biomedical Engineering entitled “Non-Invasive Methods for Spatial and Quantitative Reconstructions of Magnetic Nanoparticles Using Electron Paramagnetic Resonance and Magnetorelaxometry” at Ghent University. The PhD was performed under the supervision of Prof.dr.ir. Luc Dupré and Prof.dr.ir. Guillaume Crevecoeur at the Electrical Energy Laboratory. Currently she is a post-doctoral fellow (FWO) at this lab.

She has been a guest scientist at the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt in Berlin and was a visiting researcher at UMIT - the Private University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology GmbH in Austria.

Her research was also selected as featured article in IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering and AIP Advances. She has been granted the AIG award for her PhD, which is a quadrennial award for the best PhD thesis concerning engineering at Ghent University. Furthermore, she was a semi-finalist of the Flemish PhD Cup, which resulted in her research being broadcasted among multiple media channels (VRT, EOS, De Morgen, CANVAS).

Key publications

  • ’Dynamical magnetic response of iron oxide nanoparticles inside live cells’. ACS Nano, 2018. (PMID: 29508990)
  • ‘Multi-color magnetic nanoparticle imaging using magnetorelaxometry’. Physics in Medicine and Biology, 2017. (PMID: 28165335)

Contact & links

  • Lab address: Electrical Energy Laboratory, Technologiepark 913, B-9052 Zwijnaarde
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  • Annelies Coene is interested to receive invitations for presentations or talks