How does magnetic cell separation work?

Immunomagnetic cell separation is based on antibodies coupled to magnetic beads. During incubation with a cell suspension, the antibody/bead complex binds to cells expressing the corresponding epitope. When the cell suspension is placed into a magnetic field, magnetically labeled cells remain in the magnetic field while unlabeled cells can be removed. To recover the labeled cells, the sample is removed from the magnetic field.

Learn more about different systems available for the immunomagnetic isolation of cells in the MACS Handbook.