Cell separation is ubiquitously used in research and clinical settings where a target cell of interest needs to be isolated from a heterogenous mixture such as serum or plasma. It is used in several scientific disciplines such as immunology, where it helps identify cells present during immune responses, or in cancer research to help elucidate the tissue environment of tumors. Immunomagnetic cell separation uses monoclonal antibodies attached to magnetic beads to increase their ability to bind to target cells.In the magnetic cell separation system, a magnetic force collects the beads, allowing for targeted cell extraction at high yields.
Magnetic bead technology has been used for DNA isolation from biological samples with more advanced techniques in recent years due to the breakout of public health-threatening diseases requiring prompt diagnosis of the suspected disease. Isolation and amplification of the specific biomolecules is the downstream phase of numerous molecular methods such as detection, cloning, sequencing, amplification, hybridisation, cDNA synthesis, etc. and the presence of other cellular components and contaminating materials in the sample mixture makes this procedure very challenging.
Magnetic Activated Cell Sorting (MACS) is a technique to enrich a specific cell type from a mixed population. Scientists or companies sort or isolate cells so they can study or grow colonies of a single type of cell. They may use that type of cell for a specific type of functional assay crucial to that cell type or they might be interested in stem cells. MACS technique emerged as a cheap alternative to cell sorting. MACS uses the highly specific antibody-antigen interaction to probe cells by their surface antigens by their specific antibody. Magnetic bead cell isolation has been implemented with MACS to offer a more precise cell sorting.
Regardless of the introduction of broad-spectrum antibiotics, pathogenic bacteria are still the main cause of life-threatening infectious diseases in the world. Prompt detection of pathogens with the lowest concentrations (<100 cfu/mL) without time-consuming procedures, such as culture or amplification by PCR is very important in disease diagnosis and the subsequent treatment regimen.
With the advent of nanomedicine in recent decades numerous nanomaterials have been used for the formulation and synthesis of nanoparticles. A nanoparticle is defined as a tiny particle with a size ranging 1-100 nm. Among the different types of nanomaterials, magnetic gold nanoparticles (GNPs) have attracted much attention in the last decades. The two physical and chemical fundamental properties of GNPs are affected by their nanostructure – shape and crystal texture – which allows them to have numerous biomedical applications in prophylaxis, diagnosis and treatment.
As we have entered an age of personalized medicine, we have begun to understand that individual differences play a large role in disease expression and treatment options. This idea is also true of individual cells, the basic unit of life – a single cell is made of all of the necessary cell organelles that give that cell its functions and morphology. Therefore, while studying diseases’ phenotypes and developing new drugs, it is becoming increasingly important to study single cells instead of groups of cells.
Magnetic beads are used for biomagnetic separation procedures to enrich the population of a specific cell, or isolate biomolecules (such as protein, or nucleic acid) for purification purposes. Since the affinity between antibody and antigen is strong and specific, antibodies are often conjugated to the surface of magnetic beads – called “surface coating” – in order to bind their ligands for enrichment.
Magnetic separation has been an emerging technology in the recent decades in biomedical science and industry in which magnetic property and behavior – known as “magnetism” – of micro/nano-sized particles are employed for the separation of macromolecules of interest (e.g. nucleic acids, proteins, peptides etc) from biological samples or chemical suspensions.
Magnetic Nanoparticles (MNPs) are particles of nanosized range (10−9 nm)(usually ,100 nm in size) with unique properties of magnetic targeting, biocompatibility, surface modification characteristics and superparamagnetic properties. The application of magnetism in medical science was first introduced in the 1950s for “magnetic hyperthermia therapy” (cancer cell death) leading to various MNPs’ syntheses including Superparamagnetic iron oxide NPs (SPIONs).
With the advent of pharmaceutical biotechnologies in recent years proteins and peptides have been the main focus of numerous studies by researchers and companies. Peptide and proteins have various physiological functions in body (as hormones, enzyme substrates and inhibitors, biological regulators, structural components, signaling factors, catalyzers), peptide/protein-based drugs and biopharmaceuticals are a novel category of drugs, and any abnormality in their amino acid sequence or structural dysfunction can lead to severe diseases and pathological conditions (dwarfism, cystic fibrosis, thalassemia etc).