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Issue 10, 2012
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Analytical methods for separating and isolating magnetic nanoparticles

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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.

Graphical abstract: Analytical methods for separating and isolating magnetic nanoparticles

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The article was received on 19 Sep 2011, accepted on 12 Jan 2012 and first published on 03 Feb 2012

Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/C2CP22982J
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2012,14, 3280-3289

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    Analytical methods for separating and isolating magnetic nanoparticles

    J. R. Stephens, J. S. Beveridge and M. E. Williams, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2012, 14, 3280
    DOI: 10.1039/C2CP22982J

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