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Capturing paramagnetic beads in a capillary

  1. Jan 14, 2010 #1

    I'm a biologist trying to work out a technique using magnetic beads, so please bear with me if my understanding of magnetism isn't up to snuff.

    I use paramagnetic beads to capture cells, and I'd like to capture these beads under flow in a capillary and visualize them on a microscope. I have no problem capturing the beads if I simply stick a rare earth magnet adjacent to the capillary. But on the scope, there's one lens above and one lens below the spot being observed, right where I would like to have my magnet.

    My question: is there some magnet configuration that would let me capture the beads in the center of the capillary without putting a magnet right there at the center? Due to the scope design, I can place magnets in front of, behind, or alongside the capillary, but not above or below. Ring magnets are possible, since they leave a gap for the lenses, but would they simply gather the beads along the ring rather than at its center? Can I configure multiple magnets around the capillary to generate opposing magnetic forces that focus the beads at the center rather than simply pulling the beads to one edge or the other?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. jcsd
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