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Biomagnetic separation techniques are faster, cheaper and easier to use than non-magnetic techniques. In addition, when a magnetic separation process is performed under homogenous conditions, these techniques are also scalable and easily validated.

Download our FREE guide about Biomagnetic Separation for Production HERE

In general, life science companies have great expertise in coating (mostly non-magnetic) beads and surfaces. They attach biomolecules, DNA, etc. to surfaces easily. Production teams will have much experience setting up the process to attach these biomolecules to magnetic beads because the technologies are very similar to attaching to non-magnetic microspheres or other surfaces.

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:

Non-magnetic beads vs. magnetic beads

When using non-magnetic beads for attachment, the separation processes includes centrifugation and filtration (either classic or tangential filtration) in order to separate the solids and discarding the dirty supernatant. One then washes with clean buffers several times to gain the final product. Anyone in the lab can tell you about the problems of these techniques:

  1. When using classic filtration techniques filters can clog and the performance of the filters vary with time and usage.
  2. When using tangential filtration techniques the warm-up time can take hours and it is difficult to establish the best balance between flow, temperature and pressure.
  3. When using centrifugation, resuspending the centrifuged solids can be a very dirty job and maintenance of the centrifuge is very costly.

If the beads are magnetic, however, the use of Magnetic Bead Separation systems provides a sound alternative:

  • Quick process (just a few minutes)
  • Clean (no buffers or filters to change)
  • No maintenance because there are no moving parts
  • No costs associated with running a device that uses permanent magnets

The main drawback in Magnetic Bead Separation is the lack of control over the process. Standard magnetic separators do not have well-defined conditions. With the more classic separation techniques listed above, you can define the parameters of the processes well, but with a standard Magnetic Bead Separator only the time of separation associated with a specific device is typically noted as a variable in the process.

But with modern homogenous Magnetic Bead Separation systems such as SEPMAG, separation conditions are known and can be reproduced regardless of the volume. This allows you to not only take advantage of the typical benefits of Magnetic Bead Separation (i.e. ease of separation and cost advantages), but also allows you to easily validate and scale up the process.

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

Check to access to FREE eBooks on the subject, or contact us. We will be glad to help you to achieve an efficient magnetic bead separation process!

basic guide biomagnetic separation

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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