To successfully scale up a biomagnetic separation process is necessary to understand the key parameter governing it. To move a magnetic bead we need to apply a magnetic force over it. This force would make the bead move in a direction and be in equilibrium with the drag force generated by the viscosity of the buffer. The result would be a constant velocity (if the magnetic force is constant).
Microalgae become the exclusive focus in research of biofuel production to meet global energy demand. Photosynthetic microalgae use the sunlight to form biomass from the supplement of carbon dioxide and water. One of the main constituents of microalgal biomass is the natural oil stored within the cells. This natural oil can be further transformed into biodiesel through a transesterification process. The biofuel is renewable with huge potential to replace the fossil fuel. The International Energy Agency has reported that the total final oil consumption of the world in 2010 has reached 3575 Mtoe.1
Working with magnetic separation rack? Keep reading!
Do you want to learn how to take the most of your magnetic separation rack? There are lots of common mistakes related to the scale-up of biomagnetic separation processes, and lots of them imply the use of non-homogeneous magnetic racks.
When biomagnetic particle kits are initially developed, R&D companies work with small volumes in a magnetic separation rack in order to test and optimize a number of variables. When the kit is deemed successful, the company obviously wants to take the kit to market and consequently ramp up production.
The concentration of magnetic beads is an important step in a magnetic separation process. Separation time is dependent on magnetic bead concentration, and final kit performance is also very dependent on accurate concentrating techniques, but liquid handling inaccuracies can lead to serious errors. If these concentration errors are not detected early in the process, excessive time, money and effort will need to be spent to either correct or redo the batch.
When one scales up production using a classic magnetic separation system, one finds that the separation time increases quickly with an increase in production volume. An increase in separation time means that material losses are higher and aggregation problems become a serious problem. By using homogenous separation time, one finds that the magnetic separation process is shorter and the separation time can be easily estimated. In homogeneous systems material loss and bead aggregation is minimized.
In the Life Sciences, one of the most critical parameters for final IVD kit performance is magnetic bead concentration. The beads are functionalized before the magnetic separation process with antibodies or other biological molecules, so the concentration of magnetic beads also delivers a specific concentration of biologically active reagent. If you do not have the correct amount of beads/biological molecules in your preparation, the sensitivity of the kit changes significantly. Therefore volume control of the suspension is quite important.
In non-homogenous magnetic separators, monitoring the entire separation process is difficult to impossible. As a result, errors in the magnetic separation process, such as using the wrong magnetic beads or using buffers with the wrong properties are not detected until the final QC testing stage.
When magnetic bead reagents are produced in quantity, often you cannot know if you have the correct properties of the beads until the final quality control step. But if these properties are wrong, finding out the properties at the end of the magnetic separation process for production does not allow you to salvage the lot. Knowing magnetic bead properties, such as size, magnetic charge and surface charge, is critical in order to have excellent reproducibility in the final product (e.g. IVD kits).