Correlation of simulation/finite element analysis to the separation of intrinsically magnetic spores and red blood cells using a microfluidic magnetic deposition system.

Sun J, Moore L, Xue W, Kim J, Zborowski M, Chalmers JJ
Biotechnol Bioeng 115 1288-1300 01/01/2018


Magnetic separation of cells has been, and continues to be, widely used in a variety of applications, ranging from healthcare diagnostics to detection of food contamination. Typically, these technologies require cells labeled with antibody magnetic particle conjugate and a high magnetic energy gradient created in the flow containing the labeled cells (i.e., a column packed with magnetically inducible material), or dense packing of magnetic particles next to the flow cell. Such designs, while creating high magnetic energy gradients, are not amenable to easy, highly detailed, mathematic characterization. Our laboratories have been characterizing and developing analysis and separation technology that can be used on intrinsically magnetic cells or spores which are typically orders of magnitude weaker than typically immunomagnetically labeled cells. One such separation system is magnetic deposition microscopy (MDM) which not only separates cells, but deposits them in specific locations on slides for further microscopic analysis. In this study, the MDM system has been further characterized, using finite element and computational fluid mechanics software, and separation performance predicted, using a model which combines: 1) the distribution of the intrinsic magnetophoretic mobility of the cells (spores); 2) the fluid flow within the separation device; and 3) accurate maps of the values of the magnetic field (max 2.27 T), and magnetic energy gradient (max of 4.41 T

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