Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 406, Issue 26, pp 6607–6616 | Cite as

Magnetic actuator for the control and mixing of magnetic bead-based reactions on-chip

  • Miguel Berenguel-Alonso
  • Xavier Granados
  • Jordi Faraudo
  • Julián Alonso-Chamarro
  • Mar PuyolEmail author
Research Paper


While magnetic bead (MB)-based bioassays have been implemented in integrated devices, their handling on-chip is normally either not optimal—i.e. only trapping is achieved, with aggregation of the beads—or requires complex actuator systems. Herein, we describe a simple and low-cost magnetic actuator to trap and move MBs within a microfluidic chamber in order to enhance the mixing of a MB-based reaction. The magnetic actuator consists of a CD-shaped plastic unit with an arrangement of embedded magnets which, when rotating, generate the mixing. The magnetic actuator has been used to enhance the amplification reaction of an enzyme-linked fluorescence immunoassay to detect Escherichia coli O157:H7 whole cells, an enterohemorrhagic strain, which have caused several outbreaks in food and water samples. A 2.7-fold sensitivity enhancement was attained with a detection limit of 603 colony-forming units (CFU) /mL, when employing the magnetic actuator.

Graphical Abstract


Magnetic beads Magnetic actuator Lab on a chip Magnetic mixing Immunoassay 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad and FEDER (project CTQ2012-36165) and the Government of Catalonia (SGR 2009–0323 and scholarship FI-DGR 2012, co-funded by the ESF). The authors thank D. Izquierdo and I. Garcés for the development of the optical detection system, Prof. J. Mas for the use of the microbiology facilities, and N. Vigués, F. Pujol and N. Tomás for helpful discussion and technical advice.

Supplementary material

216_2014_8100_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (451 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 451 kb)

(MPG 1.77 mb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miguel Berenguel-Alonso
    • 1
  • Xavier Granados
    • 2
  • Jordi Faraudo
    • 2
  • Julián Alonso-Chamarro
    • 1
  • Mar Puyol
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Group of Sensors and Biosensors (GSB), Department of ChemistryUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBellaterraSpain
  2. 2.Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC)BellaterraSpain

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