Table of Contents
Magnetic and Electrical Separation
Volume 10 (2001), Issue 4, Pages 223-252

The Application of Magnetic Techniques in Biosciences

Laboratory of Biochemistry and Microbiology, Institute of Landscape Ecology AS CR, Na Sadkach 7, Ceske Budejovice 370 05, Czech Republic

Received 12 June 2000; Accepted 28 July 2000

Copyright © 2001 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The idea to use magnetic techniques in biosciences is not new, but it has enjoyed a resurgence of interest especially during the last two decades. Magnetic adsorbents, carriers and modifiers can be used for the immobilization, isolation, modification, detection, determination and removal of a variety of biologically active compounds, xenobiotics, cellular components and cells. Magnetic separation and labelling have recently found many useful and interesting applications in various areas of biosciences, especially in molecular and cell biology, microbiology, biochemistry and bioanalytical chemistry. Special attention is being paid to the possible biomedical and clinical applications. Currently, the magnetic selective separation, represents the most often used magnetic technique. It can facilitate or accelerate many separation and purification processes especially in heterogeneous systems. To perform a biomagnetic separation an appropriate magnetic separator and magnetic particles or other magnetic labels are needed. Several types of separators and a wide assortment of magnetic particles of different type and size (usually surface modified) are commercially available. The importance of biomagnetic (separation) techniques has increased in recent years and further development of new important applications is expected in the future. The purpose of this review is to summarise basic elements and prospects of biomagnetic techniques and to highlight possible applications in various bioscience disciplines.