The method of immunomagnetic separation (IMS) has become an established technique to concentrate and separate animal cells, biologically active compounds and pathogenic micro-organisms from clinical, food and environmental matrices. One drawback of this technique is that the analysis is only possible for small sample volumes. We have developed a stochastic model that involves numerical simulations to optimize the process of concentration of pathogenic micro-organisms onto superparamagnetic carrier particles (SCPs) in a gradient magnetic field. Within the range of the system parameters varied in the simulations, optimal conditions favour larger particles with higher magnetite concentrations. The dependence on magnetic field intensity and gradient together with concentration of particles and micro-organisms was found to be less important for larger SCPs but these parameters can influence the values of the collision time for small particles. These results will be useful in aiding the design of apparatus for immunomagnetic separation from large volume samples.
- IMMUNOMAGNETIC SEPARATION