Biocompatible, hydrophobic ferrofluids comprised of magnetite nanoparticles dispersed in polydimethylsiloxane show promise as materials for the treatment of retinal detachment. This paper focuses on the motion of hydrophobic ferrofluid droplets traveling through viscous aqueous media, whereby the movement is induced by gradients in external fields generated by small permanent magnets. A numerical method was utilized to predict the force on a spherical droplet, and then the calculated force was used to estimate the time required for the droplet to reach the permanent magnet. The calculated forces and travel times were verified experimentally. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.