Understanding The Magnetic Separation Technique

Have you ever heard of a method called magnetic separation? Magnetic separation uses magnetic forces to separate different substances [1]. It is usually used in biotechnology and chemistry. In this blog, we will focus on how magnetic separation is applied in the field of immunoassay. 

What is immunoassay?

Immunoassay is a technique that uses the specific binding between an antigen (a substance that can trigger an immune response) and an antibody (a protein that can recognize and bind to a specific antigen) to detect the presence of a target analyte in a sample [3]. Immunoassay can be used for various purposes, such as diagnosing diseases, monitoring drug levels, and screening for allergies.

How does magnetic separation work in immunoassay?

Magnetic separation is a technique that uses magnetic materials to extract the target analyte from a sample. The magnetic materials are usually ferromagnetic oxides, which can be easily manipulated by an external magnetic field. 

Understanding The Magnetic Separation Technique

In immunoassay, magnetic beads coated with either an antigen or an antibody are used as the solid phase. The magnetic beads are mixed with the sample, allowing the target analyte to react with the antigen or antibody on the beads. The antigen-antibody complex is then separated from the other substances. 

What are the advantages of magnetic separation in immunoassay?

Magnetic separation has several advantages over other standard separation procedure techniques in immunoassay because

  • It is simple to perform with only a few handling steps [2].
  • It is efficient because the properties can be easily selected and removed with a short separation time [2].
  • It is cost-effective because the purification procedure can take place in one single test tube without the need for additional expensive systems [2].
  • It is useful at large-scaled operations due to the power of magnetic separation techniques [2].
All in all, magnetic separation is a powerful technique that can enhance the applicability of immunoassay and it is expected to play an important role in the development of immunoassay in the future.
At Artron, our iA1000 Automatic Chemiluminescence Immunoassay Analyzer uses magnetic separation techniques to help support the diagnosis of various diseases, such as tumor markers, infectious diseases, urine tests, drug of abuse, and more. Feel free to email our expert at info@artronlab.com for more information.
[1] Zhongyuan, S., Kuangdi, X. (2023). Magnetic Separation. In: Xu, K. (eds) The ECPH Encyclopedia of Mining and Metallurgy. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-19-0740-1_471-1
[2] Safarik, I., & Safarikova, M. (2004). Magnetic techniques for the isolation and purification of proteins and peptides. Biomagnetic research and technology, 2(1), 7.https://doi.org/10.1186/1477-044X-2-7
[3] Darwish I. A. (2006). Immunoassay Methods and their Applications in Pharmaceutical Analysis: Basic Methodology and Recent Advances. International journal of biomedical science : IJBS, 2(3), 217–235. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3614608/

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