Design of a microfabricated magnetic cell separator

Michael Berger, Judith Castelino, Richard Huang, Manish Shah, Robert H. Austin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


A new magnetic separation idea utilizing several ideas from microfabrication and nanomagnetics is presented. The basic idea comes from our earlier work using asymmetry in obstacles and Brownian motion to effect separation of objects [10] by moving them in streams whose angle to the hydrodynamic average velocity is a function of the diffusion coefficient of the object. The device we propose here is not technically a Brownian ratchet device but uses the idea of force which acts at angle to the hydrodynamic flow. In our case, the force is generated by a magnetic field gradient which comes from an array of magnetized wires which lie at an angle 0 to a hydrodynamic field flow. The sum of the hydrodynamic force and the magnetic force create a new vector which as in the case of the Brownian ratchet moves the cell out of the main stream direction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3883-3892
Number of pages10
Issue number18
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry


  • Magnetic cell separations
  • Microfabrication


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