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Nanomagnet-based removal of lead and digoxin from living rats

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2013
Author Herrmann Inge K., Schlegel Andrea A, Graf Rolf, Schumacher Christoph M, Senn Nico, Hasler Melanie, Gschwind Sabrina, Hirt Ann-Marie, Günther Detleff, Clavien Pierre-Alain, Stark Wendelin J, Beck-Schimmer Beatrice,
Project Metal Nanomagnets for Medicine - Towards Single Cell Surgery
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Nanoscale
Volume (Issue) 5(18)
Page(s) 8718 - 8723
Title of proceedings Nanoscale


In a number of clinical conditions such as intoxications, bacteremia 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 ions and digoxin). Ultra-strong functionalized metal nanomagnets are employed to eliminate the toxin from whole blood in an extracorporeal circuit. After capturing the target substance, a magnetic trap prevents that the toxin-loaded nanoparticles enter the blood circulation. 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. Elemental analysis and magnetic hysteresis measurements confirm full particle recovery by simple magnetic separation. We demonstrate that magnetic separation-based blood purification offers rapid blood cleaning from noxious agents, germs or other deleterious materials with relevance in a number of clinical conditions. Based on this new approach, today’s blood purification 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.