Development of a High-Throughput Magnetic Separation Device for Malaria-Infected Erythrocytes

Ann Biomed Eng. 2017 Dec;45(12):2888-2898. doi: 10.1007/s10439-017-1925-2. Epub 2017 Sep 18.


This study describes a non-dilutive high-gradient magnetic separation (HGMS) device intended to continuously remove malaria-infected red blood cells (iRBCs) from the circulation. A mesoscale prototype device with disposable photo-etched ferromagnetic grid and reusable permanent magnet was designed with a computationally-optimized magnetic force. The prototype device was evaluated in vitro using a non-pathogenic analog for malaria-infected blood, comprised of 24% healthy RBCs, 6% human methemoglobin RBCs (metRBCs), and 70% phosphate buffer solution (PBS). The device provided a 27.0 ± 2.2% reduction of metRBCs in a single pass at a flow rate of 77 μL min-1. This represents a clearance rate over 380 times greater throughput than microfluidic devices reported previously. These positive results encourage development of a clinical scale system that would economize time and donor blood for treating severe malaria.

Keywords: Apheresis; Magnetics; Malaria; Microfluidic; Modeling; Separation; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Blood Component Removal / instrumentation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Erythrocytes / parasitology*
  • Erythrocytes / pathology*
  • Hemofiltration / instrumentation*
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays / instrumentation*
  • Humans
  • Immunomagnetic Separation / instrumentation*
  • Lab-On-A-Chip Devices*
  • Plasmodium falciparum / isolation & purification*