Magnetic needles and superparamagnetic cells. Academic Article uri icon


  • Superparamagnetic nanoparticles can be attached in great numbers to pathogenic cells using specific antibodies so that the magnetically-labeled cells themselves become superparamagnets. The cells can then be manipulated and drawn out of biological fluids, as in a biopsy, very selectively using a magnetic needle. We examine the origins and uncertainties in the forces exerted on magnetic nanoparticles by static magnetic fields, leading to a model for trajectories and collection times of dilute superparamagnetic cells in biological fluids. We discuss the design and application of such magnetic needles and the theory of collection times. We compare the mathematical model to measurements in a variety of media including blood. For more information on this article, see

publication date

  • January 1, 2007