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How to master your biomagnetic separation processes: consistency and monitoring

By improving the capture and isolation of biomolecules in complex matrices, magnetic beads have facilitated a leap forward in life science technologies..

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New e-book! How to master your biomagnetic separation processes

We are glad to announce the publication of a new e-book! Discover how you can take full advantage of this quick, efficient, and versatile technology.

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Meet with SEPMAG at AACC 2022!

We are excited to announce that we will be exhibiting at the 2022 AACC Clinical Lab Expo!

Visit our booth nr. 1559 to learn more on how to attain a safe and high-performing biomagnetic separation process. Discover how you can work with our systems with volumes from milliliters up to 50 liters, assuring batch consistency thanks to a constant magnetic force and an intuitive monitoring system.

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Good Manufacturing Practices

Good manufacturing practice, or GMP, is a set of standards that ensures that produced products meet a set of quality standards. Following GMP is crucial for the production of laboratory equipment, as it ensures that a manufactured product is able to meet predefined criteria. Most GMP practices follow the guidelines set by the FDA in the United States, and are promoted by the WHO.

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Nucleic Acid Isolation

Our understanding of genetic material has substantially increased since Friederich Miescher first extracted DNA in 1869. He discovered that a material exists within cells that precipitates out of acidic solution and dissolves into alkaline solution. He called it nuclein because it seemed to be located within the nucleus. It took until 1953 for the structure of DNA to be elucidated. It was during this time that procedures to isolate DNA began to emerge. Later, during the 1960's and 70's scientists were furiously untangling the cellular environment, and the discovery of RNA with its various forms and functions further refined DNA purification procedures.

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Cell sorting techniques

Isolating cell populations is required for many fields of research, such as cell function, signaling and gene expression. Techniques that enable the rapid and accurate enrichment of target cell populations are therefore an area of substantial interest.

Cell sorting techniques fall into two general categories: bulk sorting and single cell sorting. In single cell sorting each cell is analyzed individually, whereas in bulk cell sorting all of the target cells are collected together.

While cell sorting is highly accurate, a sorted cell population is not “pure”. Instead, the collected population is referred to as “enriched”. Compared to bulk sorting, single cell sorting results in more homogeneous and highly enriched cell populations.

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Hot gravity filtration and vacuum filtration in recrystallization

Recrystallization is the process of obtaining pure crystals from a compound containing impurities in a solvent. Hot gravity filtration is a process commonly used to remove these impurities from a solution prior to recrystallization. 

Hot filtration is a type of filtration where the filtration equipment and the sample are heated during the process. Hot filtration is needed for recrystallization when impurities exist in solution. Recrystallization requires a hot solution because the solution needs to be supersaturated for crystals to form on cooling. Hot solutions can hold more solute in suspension compared to a cold solution because the solubility of most solids increases with a rise in temperature. This means that a saturated solution will contain more dissolved solute if prepared at a higher temperature than at a cold temperature. When the hot solution then cools, it will be supersaturated – it will hold more dissolved solute than its cold equivalent would. 

The impurity may have a different solubility than the compound in certain solvents. The aim is to choose a solvent that dissolves the compound when heated, but that doesn’t dissolve the impurity at high temperatures. The impurity is then filtered out during the hot gravity filtration process.

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Nanobeads in biotechnology

Nanobeads have applications ranging from basic science research to clinical imaging and targeted drug delivery. Nanobeads are composites of nanoparticles. Nanoparticles are defined as being less than 100 nanometers in diameter, while nanobeads are usually around 50 to 200 nanometers in diameter. There are also microbeads, but these are much larger and have diameters of at least 1000 nanometers, or 1 micrometer, which is close to the size of a cell. Bacterial cell diameters range from 0.5 to 2 micrometers in diameter, and animal cells range from 10 to 30 micrometers in diameter. The size of nanobeads is very important to their function; partly because they are so much smaller than a cell, which enables them to be used for cell labeling and isolation. In the case of magnetic nanobeads, the nanometer size imparts the paramagnetic property that is so valuable for biomagnetic separation, clinical imaging (contrast enhanced magnetic resonance (MRI)), and therapeutics such as magnetic hyperthermia for targeted tumor destruction.

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Protein A Beads Optimization

Protein A beads like ELISA, Immunoprecipitation, antibody purification, and multiplex assays require the attachment of specific antibodies to a solid support such as a column, polystyrene plate, agarose bead, or superparamagnetic nanoparticle. There are a number of ways that antibodies are attached to solid supports. Some of these include:

  • covalently bonding the antibody’s primary amines directly to the surface
  • biotin-streptavidin affinity linkages
  • protein A and G
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Agarose Resin Chromatography

Introduction to Chemiluminescence immunoassays

Using Agarose Resin chromatography allows for a versatile, prepacked column that enables small-scale, high-resolution size exclusion chromatography for preparation, characterization, and analysis of proteins and other biomolecules. Size exclusion chromatography, also known as gel filtration, is a common technique used to separate compounds of small molecules, such as proteins, polysaccharides, and nucleic acids when in an aqueous solution. This can be extremely useful in numerous commercial applications, such as analysis and determination of an unknown sample, removal of large proteins for purification of a sample, for removing small molecules such as dyes and primers, and buffer exchanges. Such chromatography is purchased as a prepacked column that allows for increased resolution and analysis, quick runtime, with a high pH tolerance to allow applications to a variety of molecules and substances. One example of a commercially available separation is Superose 6 chromatography, found here.

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