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.
This article is Open Access
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