Transportation of magnetic beads between different reagents plays a crucial role in many biological assays e.g. for purification of biomolecules or cells where the beads act as a mobile solid support. Therefore, usually a complex set-up either for fluidic processing or for manipulation of magnetic beads is required. To circumvent these drawbacks, we present a facile and automated method for the transportation of magnetic beads between multiple microfluidic chambers on a centrifugal microfluidic cartridge “LabDisk”. The method excels by requiring only one stack of stationary permanent magnets, a specific microfluidic layout without actively controlled valves and a predefined frequency protocol for rotation of the LabDisk. Magnetic beads were transported through three fluidically separated chambers with a yield of 82.6% ± 3.6%. Bead based DNA purification from a dilution series of a Listeria innocua lysate and from a lambda phage DNA standard was demonstrated where the three chambers were used for binding, washing and elution of DNA. Recovery of L. innocua DNA was up to 68% ± 24% and for lambda phage DNA 43% ± 10% compared to manual reference purification in test tubes. Complete purification was conducted automatically within 12.5 min. Since all reagents can be preloaded onto the LabDisk prior to purification, no further hands-on steps are required during processing. Due to its modular and generic character, the presented method could also be adapted to other magnetic bead based assays e.g. to immunoassays or protein affinity purification, solely requiring the adjustment of number and volumes of the fluidic chambers.
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