Issue 18, 2013

Nanomagnet-based removal of lead and digoxin from living rats


In a number of clinical conditions such as intoxication, bacteraemia or autoimmune diseases the removal of the disease-causing factor from blood would be the most direct cure. However, physicochemical characteristics of the target compounds limit the applicability of classical filtration and diffusion-based processes. In this work, we present a first in vivo magnetic blood purification rodent animal model and demonstrate its ability to rapidly clear toxins from blood circulation using two model toxins with stable plasma levels (lead (Pb2+) and digoxin). Ultra-strong functionalized metal nanomagnets are employed to eliminate the toxin from whole blood in an extracorporeal circuit. In the present experimental demonstration over 40% of the toxin (i.e. lead or digoxin) was removed within the first 10 minutes and over 75% within 40 minutes. After capturing the target substance, a magnetic trap prevents the toxin-loaded nanoparticles from entering the blood circulation. Elemental analysis and magnetic hysteresis measurements confirm full particle recovery by simple magnetic separation (residual particle concentration below 1 μg mL−1 (detection limit)). We demonstrate that magnetic separation-based blood purification offers rapid blood cleaning from noxious agents, germs or other deleterious materials with relevance to a number of clinical conditions. Based on this new approach, current blood purification technologies can be extended to efficiently remove disease-causing factors, e.g. overdosed drugs, bacteria or cancer cells without being limited by filter cut-offs or column surface saturation.

Graphical abstract: Nanomagnet-based removal of lead and digoxin from living rats

Article information

Article type
13 May 2013
08 Jul 2013
First published
11 Jul 2013
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Nanoscale, 2013,5, 8718-8723

Nanomagnet-based removal of lead and digoxin from living rats

I. K. Herrmann, A. Schlegel, R. Graf, C. M. Schumacher, N. Senn, M. Hasler, S. Gschwind, A. Hirt, D. Günther, P. Clavien, W. J. Stark and B. Beck-Schimmer, Nanoscale, 2013, 5, 8718 DOI: 10.1039/C3NR02468G

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