Magnetic particles about 10 nm in size were prepared by chemical precipitation under nitrogen and used for the selective and sequential adsorption of bovine serum albumin (BSA) (pI = 4.7) and lysozyme (LSZ) (pI = 1.1) under different conditions, such as pH and initial protein concentration. The separation ratio of BSA over LSZ at pH 4.6 is about 5, which is about 1.5 times the separation ratio of LSZ over BSA at pH 11.0. Only 10% of the preadsorbed BSA could be displaced by the sequential adsorption of LSZ at pH 11.0. On the other hand, 60% of the preadsorbed LSZ was desorbed due to the sequential adsorption of BSA at pH 4.6. Over 50% desorption of BSA or LSZ could be achieved either by 0.5 M Na(2)HPO(4) or 0.5 M NaH(2)PO(4) after 2 h. Over 80% of the enzymatic activity of LSZ was preserved when it was desorbed from magnetic particles.