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validation of biomagnetic separation processes, magnetic bead separation

Avoiding resuspension problems using Magnetic Bead Separation technology

One of the major problems of traditional magnetic bead separation technology is aggregation of the magnetic beads. Aggregation decreases the yield and also contributes to variability between batches.

Aggregation in magnetic bead separation is one of the major problems in the process

This post is about magnetic bead separation and how to validate this process. If you are interested in this topic, and are willing to learn more about it, download our Free Guide The Starting Guide to Validate Biomagnetic Separation Processes:

Free PDF guide:  "Validation of Magnetic Bead Separation Processes" 

What causes aggregation?

Traditional biomagnetic separation creates a magnetic force that is dependent on the distance from the magnet. In other words, beads that are far from the magnet are difficult to attract because of the low magnetic force. Often, this results in a great deal of material loss and an increase in separation time. A common way to rectify these problems is to increase the magnetic force by adding permanent magnets to the separator in order to pull more beads toward the magnets in a shorter amount of time. Doing this, however, only increases the aggregation problem.

Beads that are close to the magnets experience excessive magnetic forces for a longer amount of time. Beads exposed to high magnetic force over time tend to aggregate, causing a loss of bead activity. Sometimes the loss of bead activity is irreversible. In addition, resuspension of the aggregated beads is very difficult, requiring laborious sonication to first break up the aggregates. Increasing the magnetic force to pull beads in from farther away would clearly exacerbate this problem.

How can one avoid aggregation?

Sepmag separators provide homogeneous magnetic bead separationA new technology used by Sepmag biomagnetic separation devices allows scientists and engineers to apply the optimum magnetic force to all the beads equally, ensuring homogeneous separation conditions. These conditions are gentle on the beads and allow for efficient separation without the aggregation and resuspension problems of traditional methods.

The Sepmag separator also alleviates the problems of beads that are far from the magnet, since even these beads experience the same magnetic forces as the beads closer to the magnetic ring. No longer will scientists need to increase the force or the separation time to attempt to increase yield. No longer will scientists need to use sonication techniques to break up aggregated beads. Sepmag technology increases yield and decreases batch to batch variability without extra work.

If you found this article interesting and want to get a deeper insight in the topic of magnetic bead separation, make sure to check these articles from our blog:

Dr. Lluís Martínez

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Lluis M. Martínez | SEPMAG Chief Scientific Officer

Founder of SEPMAG, Lluis holds a PhD in Magnetic Materials by the UAB. He has conducted research at German and Spanish academic institutions. Having worked in companies in Ireland, USA and Spain, he has more than 20 years of experience applying magnetic materials and sensors to industrial products and processes. He has filed several international patents on the field and co-authored more than 20 scientific papers, most of them on the subject of magnetic particle movement.

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