Analytical methods for separating and isolating magnetic nanoparticles

Jason R. Stephens, Jacob S. Beveridge, Mary Elizabeth Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Despite the large body of literature describing the synthesis of magnetic nanoparticles, few analytical tools are commonly used for their purification and analysis. Due to their unique physical and chemical properties, magnetic nanoparticles are appealing candidates for biomedical applications and analytical separations. Yet in the absence of methods for assessing and assuring their purity, the ultimate use of magnetic particles and heterostructures is likely to be limited. In this review, we summarize the separation techniques that have been initially used for this purpose. For magnetic nanoparticles, it is the use of an applied magnetic flux or field gradient that enables separations. Flow based techniques are combined with applied magnetic fields to give methods such as magnetic field flow fractionation and high gradient magnetic separation. Additional techniques have been explored for manipulating particles in microfluidic channels and in mesoporous membranes. Further development of these and new analytical tools for separation and analysis of colloidal particles is critically important to enable the practical use of these, particularly for medicinal purposes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3280-3289
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 14 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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