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Scientists from the University of Rostock and Acreo Swedish ICT, in collaboration with NanoMag and Micromod have demonstrated the analytical and preparative potential of the Sepmag Q100mL magnetic separation rack. The work showcases the ability of the Q100mL separation system to quantitatively monitor the size- and concentration-dependent separation of magnetic particles.

The separation rack separates magnetic particles

The Q100ml separation system was used to separate bioionized nanoferrite nanoparticles (BNF) of different sizes and varying concentrations. BNF nanoparticles are thermally blocked multi-core particles. Multi-core nanoparticles have multiple nanocrystals making up the core of the particle. In this work the core was composed of multiple magnetite nanocrystals. The particles used were 80, 100, 290, and 350 nm in diameter.

Separation kinetics

Real-time separation data indicates the kinetics of the magnetic separation for each particle size at low concentrations below 0.1 mg Fe/mL. As expected, the largest diameter particles (350nm) separated in the shortest amount of time. Separation time decreased as particle diameter increased. Another expected result was that separation time of the largest nanoparticles decreased as the concentration of nanoparticles increased. This is expected because individual particles tend to aggregate together in clumps or chains at higher concentrations. Surprisingly, in this work the smallest nanoparticles (<100nm) actually demonstrated longer separation times with increased particle concentration. The separation time of the particles at very high concentrations up to 10mg/ml was constant. Real-time monitoring by the Sepmag system illuminated the subtle kinetics of the separation process for each bead size and concentration.

This work demonstrates that the Sepmag Q100 system can reliably produce quality analytical data about the separation process. The real-time measuring system is sensitive enough to distinguish differences in the separation kinetics of beads of varying size and concentration. Therefore, the system could be a valuable tool in the preparation of homogenous nanoparticle fractions of known size and concentration.

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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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