A team of investigators in Boston is developing an interesting new approach to tackle septicemia. By physically separating the pathogen from the blood, the researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston believe that might open new frontiers in our fight against this pernicious and deadly problem. The new system uses specialty magnetic microbeads that attach themselves to bacteria and a magnetic field gradient to separate the junk from the good stuff in separate stages.
From an abstract in Lab on a Chip:
Immunomagnetic microbeads were modified to create magnetic opsonins that were used to cleanse flowing human whole blood of Candida albicans fungi, a leading cause of sepsis-related deaths. The micromagnetic–microfluidic blood cleansing device generates magnetic field gradients across vertically stacked channels to enable continuous and high throughput separation of fungi from flowing whole blood. A multiplexed version of the device containing four parallel channels achieved over 80% clearance of fungi from contaminated blood at a flow rate of 20 mL/h in a single pass, a rate 1000 times faster than a previously described prototype micromagnetic–microfluidic cell separation system. These results provide the first proof-of-principle that a multiplexed micromagnetic–microfluidic separation system can be used to cleanse pathogens from flowing human blood at a rate and separation efficiency that is relevant for clinical applications.
Press release: A fast magnetic fix for sepsis? …
Article in Lab on a Chip: Micromagnetic-microfluidic blood cleansing device
Flashbacks: Manipulating Cellular Signaling with Magnetic Fields ; Sepsis Microfilter Being Developed