A team led by Yale University scientists has developed a technique to separate healthy and diseased blood cells using magnetizable liquids, according to a study published this week in the online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
In the experiment, researchers:
Developed a biocompatible ferrofluid-one with the right pH level and salinity so that human cells can survive in it for several hours-and created a device with integrated electrodes that generate a magnetic field pattern, allowing them to manipulate and separate red blood cells, sickle cells and bacteria contained in this unique solution.
Although the technology is still experimental, researchers hope the technique will one day be incorporated into portable sensors and that could be used for testing a range of diseases such as HIV or cancer.
The video above depicts microparticles that are directed along specific channels in the ferrofluid.
Via Technology Review Editors Blog