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How to save space in the clean room during a Magnetic Separation Process

Classic magnetic separation equipment requires a large amount of space in order to comply with health and safety regulations. While the magnetic separation process has numerous advantages, the magnetic fields surrounding the devices may be so large that they fall within the ‘danger’ and/or ‘caution’ areas.

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This post is about Magnetic Bead Separation in the production of magnetic beads for IVD kits. If you want to know its most important elements, download our free eBook The basic guide to use Magnetic Bead Separation in production processes:

The two key areas that must be designated

If the magnetic separation rack is too big, the designated areas must be designated in compliance with the laws and extra precautions need to be taken by all workers around the equipment. Danger areas are areas where the magnetic fields measure 3 mT (30 Gauss) or more. Caution areas are areas where the magnetic fields measure less than 3 mT or greater than 0.5 mT (5 Gauss).

Classic Magnetic Bead Separation devices, by design, are open systems and therefore allow very large stray fields to escape. It is unfortunate that these stray fields can interfere with other electronic devices or systems even at a great distance. In addition, these stray fields can attract objects made of iron or steel (ferromagnetic objects), which can result in grave human injury.

How to avoid potential injury

Very large areas within the laboratory should be completely cleared of instruments and other objects to avoid potential injury by flying objects. It is not rare that people incur broken bones or other serious injuries from not taking the proper precautions and making sure that ferromagnetic objects are not in the same room as the Magnetic Bead Separation device. People with pacemakers should completely avoid being near these devices, but at the very least should stay outside of the ‘Caution’ zone.

Closed and/or well-shielded Magnetic Bead Separation systems (where the majority of the magnetic field is contained) should be chosen if lab space is limited and costly. This newer type of system should be chosen especially if one needs to work in a controlled environment.

If you found this post about using Magnetic Bead Separation for production useful, don’t forget to check these related posts:

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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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