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The traditional way to check whether a Magnetic Bead Separation Production process is complete is by sight. The technician/researcher looks at the suspension. At the beginning of the process the suspension is homogenous and opaque. When the separation process is complete, the magnetic beads are left on the walls of the vessel and the supernatant is transparent. When the suspension is ‘transparent’, the technician stops the process by extracting the supernatant, leaving the magnetic beads in the bottle. After repeating the same process several times, a separation time can be defined and used as a benchmark. With the traditional method, the only quality control record is the OK/no OK signed by the person handling the vessel with no supporting data. In case of a quality issue with the product, this may not be detected until a later stage, and there is no data to show whether the problem occurred before, during or after the Magnetic Bead Separation.


In contrast, by continuously monitoring the opacity of the suspension while inside the Magnetic Bead Separation system, technicians have a record of its evolution during the process. Changes in opacity inside the Magnetic Bead Separator should be the same if the suspension is the same. Changes to the properties of the magnetic beads (diameter, magnetic charge), concentration and/or viscosity of the buffer lead to different opacity, so any deviations from the expected pattern serve as an early warning system.

This article explains the advantages of monitoring Magnetic Bead Separation processes. If you are interested in knowing more about this innovation download our free basic guide for monitoring Magnetic Bead Separation processes:

Free PDF guide: "The Basic Guide  for Monitoring Biomagnetic Separation Processes"

If the process is documented with printed reports for every stageacceptance parameters can be defined objectively, without subjective operator judgement. Moreover, cumulated experimental data allows teams (technicians, researchers and managers) to audit, analyze, revise and improve the Magnetic Bead Separation steps of their manufacturing processes.

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Dr. Lluís Martínez

FREE Download: Basic guide to magnetic bead cell 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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