The separation time in standard magnetic separation devices is usually determined by analyzing aliquots of solution taken at different times. The problem is that each aliquot gives the technician information about one spatial point in time. Therefore, the design of validation experiments becomes a very complex endeavor.
When using biomagnetic separation systems, customers are always curious about how to comply with the various health and safety regulations that are in effect. When customers use small systems for a small scale magnetic separation process, there is very little risk from the magnets. The only risk would be if the technician has a pacemaker and in that case, they would be extremely careful around even the smallest system. There is also a small risk of pinching one’s fingers between two magnets.
When scaling up a process using a traditional magnetic separation rack, the percentage of bead and biomolecule losses significantly increases with an increase in volume. One way of dealing with this problem is by applying a higher force at longer distances. But for this to work, you must apply this greater force without increasing the forces in the retention area during the magnetic separation process, in order to avoid irreversible aggregation.
If one wants to scale up production from small lab lots to full-scale large lots, a non-homogenous magnetic separation process will result in lot-to-lot inconsistencies. Homogenous biomagnetic separation conditions, however, guarantee consistent results regardless of production scale.
By Josep Maria Simó, CEO Sepmag