Ring magnets for magnetic beads trapping in a capillary
This paper introduces the concept of ring magnets for magnetic beads (MBs) trapping in a capillary. Such magnets enable an easy insertion of a capillary simply like a pearl on a string. With this system, high magnetic forces are obtained thanks to the proximity between the magnet and the capillary, giving the opportunity to work at higher flow rates than with classical setups using two magnets with their magnetization perpendicular to the capillary. Moreover, by alternating magnets and non-magnetic spacers either in attraction or repulsion configuration, it is possible to form a chain and as a consequence to adapt the number of magnets to the desired number of plugs, thus controlling the surface available for molecule binding. Magnetic force mapping was first carried out by numerical simulations for a single ring magnet. The usefulness of this concept was then demonstrated with the achievement of an immunoassay and an online preconcentration experiment. To study the formation of multiplugs, the magnetic force was first simulated for a chain of four magnets in repulsion. This force was then introduced into a convection-diffusion model to understand the influence of the flow velocity on their size and position. The numerical simulations were qualitatively corroborated by microscopic visualizations, carried out in a capillary placed between rectangular magnets having a magnetization parallel to the capillary, and quantitatively by bead capture efficiency experiments.