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Magnetic bead-based purification is well-established for small-scale applications, delivering excellent results even with viscous or debris-laden samples. Yet, when it comes to larger volumes, this method has historically been viewed as inefficient and expensive. This perception has driven many researchers to switch to non-magnetic agarose-based systems for larger sample volumes, which often involve lengthy sample clarification steps and costly method optimizations. However, recent advancements in high-performance magnetic separators enable magnetic bead scalability without compromising efficiency or cost-effectiveness.

At the recent PEGS Summit in Boston (May 13-17, 2024), Dr. Fabian Mohr, Chief Scientific Officer at IBA Lifesciences, delivered an insightful presentation titled “From Screening to Large Scale Purification: Versatility of Strep-Tactin®XT Magnetic Beads.” He highlighted groundbreaking advancements in protein purification, detailing how IBA Lifesciences tackles the evolving challenges of protein purification, which is often labor-intensive and time-consuming. These findings are also documented in an application note titled “From Early Screening to Large Scale Production: Flexible Scaling of Protein Purification with Magnetic Beads.”

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Demonstrating Scalability with Sepmag®

To showcase the seamless scalability of this system, experiments were conducted using MagStrep® Strep-Tactin®XT beads with Sepmag® A200ml magnetic bead separators. Sample volumes ranged from 1 ml in a small Eppendorf tube to 125 ml in a large glass bottle. Consistently, the results demonstrated that protein yield and purity remained high and uniform across all volumes, emphasizing the effectiveness of Sepmag® separators in maintaining performance during upscaling.


IBA Application Note


Key Benefits of the Sepmag® and Strep-tag® Combination

  • High Yield and Purity: The use of Sepmag® magnetic separators ensures that the magnetic force remains constant, enabling efficient bead separation even in large volumes. This consistency translates to high yield and purity of proteins, critical for both research and industrial applications.
  • Versatility Across Expression Systems: Whether working with bacterial lysates like E. coli or mammalian cell cultures, the combined system of MagStrep® Strep-Tactin®XT beads and Sepmag® separators delivers reliable results, showcasing its robustness across different biological systems.
  • Cost-Effective Scalability: Magnetic bead-based systems are often associated with high costs, especially at larger scales. However, the reusability of MagStrep® Strep-Tactin®XT beads, facilitated by reversible binding and regeneration, significantly reduces costs. Sepmag® separators further enhance this cost-effectiveness by providing efficient separation, minimizing bead loss, and maximizing usage.
  • Simplified Process Development: By eliminating the need for method changes between different scales, researchers can streamline their workflows. The flexibility offered by Sepmag® separators ensures that the same magnetic bead technology can be applied from early screening to large-scale production, simplifying process development and reducing the need for extensive optimization.

The application of Sepmag® magnetic separators in conjunction with MagStrep® Strep-Tactin®XT technology represents a significant leap forward in protein purification. This combined system offers a scalable, efficient, and cost-effective solution, maintaining high performance across various volumes and expression systems. For researchers and industry professionals, this means a more straightforward, reliable, and adaptable approach to protein purification, driving innovation and efficiency in their workflows.

For more detailed insights, you can read the full application note here.

Stay tuned to our blog for more insights and advancements in magnetic bead technology and its applications.

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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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