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Magnetic bead handling on-chip: new opportunities for analytical applications

Abstract

This review describes recent advances in the handling and manipulation of magnetic particles in microfluidic systems. Starting from the properties of magnetic nanoparticles and microparticles, their use in magnetic separation, immuno-assays, magnetic resonance imaging, drug delivery, and hyperthermia is discussed. We then focus on new developments in magnetic manipulation, separation, transport, and detection of magnetic microparticles and nanoparticles in microfluidic systems, pointing out the advantages and prospects of these concepts for future analysis applications.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    It is known that some micro-organisms and animals use geomagnetic field information for orientation. They contain biomineralized magnetite [Fe3O4] particles that can interact with the geomagnetic field, monitor its direction, and are part of a highly sophisticated sensory system.

  2. 2.

    Here, we use the definition of force where the moment has units of T m3, as introduced in the book of Chikazumi (1964). An alternative dimension in literature for the moment is A m2, but, in this case, the factor μ0 in the denominator of Eq. 1 needs to be replaced by 1.

  3. 3.

    The advantages related to the use of magnetic beads in microfluidic systems apply equally well to the more “macroscopic” microtiter plate and test tube formats.

  4. 4.

    A thick region is characterized by a channel depth that is of the order of the radius of gyration of the DNA molecule. A thin region has a much smaller depth, which effectively blocks the DNA in the thick region unless it is deformed at the cost of an entropy change.

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Acknowledgements

The author gratefully acknowledges Amar Rida, Victor Fernandez, Hicham Majd, Smail Hadjidj, Ulrike Lehmann, Virendra Parashar, and Caroline Vandevyver for useful discussions and their collaboration in the EPFL magnetic bead handling project.

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Correspondence to Martin A. M. Gijs.

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Gijs, M.A.M. Magnetic bead handling on-chip: new opportunities for analytical applications. Microfluid Nanofluid 1, 22–40 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10404-004-0010-y

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Keywords

  • Microfluidics
  • Magnetic bead handling
  • Magnetic bead assay
  • Magnetic bead labeling
  • Magnetic supraparticle structure