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Home > Research > T2: Biomicrosystems, Bioelectrochemistry and Bioelectromagnetism > Microsystems for biology

Magnetic cell sorting in microfluidic devices

by Naoufel HADDOUR - published on , updated on

The development of new methods to isolate cells or bacteria present in low abundance in a mixture is an important challenge in the field of cell biology and microbiology.
Most cells being intrinsically diamagnetic, magnetic sorting techniques generally rely on labeling target cells with superparamagnetic micro or nanoparticles, which then makes it possible to attract them using a magnetic field source. The magnetic force exerted on an object being determined by its magnetic moment and by the magnetic field gradient to which it is subjected, one of the possibilities to improve the sensitivity consists in miniaturizing the sources of magnetic field used, which has the effect of increasing the magnetic field gradient.
Microfluidic systems integrating permanent micro-magnets fabricated at Institut Néel (Grenoble) have been developed and used to monitor the endocytosis of superparamagnetic nanoparticles by eukaryotic cells, to isolate immunomagnetically labelled cells, or to specifically target bacteria weakly represented in a mixture, by exploiting the technique of in-situ magnetic hybridization.

This latter approach offers many perspectives for the exploration of bacterial diversity (possibility of isolating bacteria belonging to the huge reservoir of non-cultivable bacteria, representing 99% of bacteria in soil).
To make the technology accessible to many users, including non-specialists, a method of fabricating low-cost micro magnets by rapid prototyping based on magnetic powders has been developed in collaboration with Institut Néel.

Publications related to this topic

- D. Royet, N.M. Dempsey, P.Simonet and M. Frenea-Robin. “A new magnetic cell fishing approach based on hybridization chain reaction: HCR-MISH”.Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, vol. 273, pp. 126-132, nov.2018

- D. Royet, Y. Hériveaux, J. Marchalot, R. Scorretti, A. Dias, N. M. Dempsey, M. Bonfim, P. Simonet and M. Frénéa-Robin. “Using injection molding and reversible bonding for easy fabrication of magnetic cell trapping and sorting devices”. J. Magn. Magn. Mater., vol. 427, pp. 306-313, 2017

- J. Pivetal, D. Royet, G. Ciuta, M. Frenea-Robin, N. Haddour, N. M. Dempsey, F. Dumas-Bouchiat, P. Simonet. Micro-magnet arrays for specific single bacterial cell positioning. Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, Volume 380, 15 April 2015, Pages 72–77

- J. Pivetal, G. Ciuta, M. Frénéa-Robin, N. Haddour, N. M. Dempsey, F. Dumas-Bouchiat and P. Simonet. Magnetic nanoparticle DNA labeling for individual bacterial cells detection and recovery. Journal of Microbiological Methods, 2014 Dec; 107, 84-91.

- J. Pivetal, S. Toru, M. Frenea-Robin, N. Haddour, S. Cecillon, N. Dempsey, F. Dumas-Bouchiat, P. Simonet. Selective isolation of bacterial cells within a microfluidic device using magnetic probe-based cell fishing. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, 2014, vol. 195 p. 581-589

- O. Osman, S. Toru, F. Dumas-Bouchiat, N. Dempsey, N. Haddour, L.-F. Zanini, F. Buret, G. Reyne, M. Frenea-Robin. Microfluidic immunomagnetic cell separation using integrated permanent micromagnets. Biomicrofluidics, 2013, 7, pp. 054115.

- L.-F. Zanini, O. Osman, M. Frénéa-Robin, N. Haddour, N. Dempsey, G. Reyne, F. Dumas-Bouchiat. Micromagnet structures for magnetic positioning and alignment. Journal of Applied Physics, 2012, 11 (7), pp. 07B312-07B312-3.

- O. Osman, L.-F. Zanini, M. Frénéa-Robin, F. Dumas-Bouchiat, N. Dempsey, G. Reyne, F. Buret, N. Haddour. Monitoring the endocytosis of magnetic nanoparticles by cells using permanent micro-flux sources. Biomedical Microdevices, 2012, 14 (5), pp. 947-954.

Grants related to this topic

- Labex IMUST
- ANR EMERGENT Project (ANR-09-CESA-013)