Application of magnetic particle tracking velocimetry to quadrupole magnetic sorting of porcine pancreatic islets

Venkata Sunil Kumar Sajja, Thomas R. Hanley, Helen Gapsis, Byron Guernsey, David J. Kennedy, Michael J. Taylor, Klearchos K. Papas, Paul W. Todd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Magnetic isolation is a promising method for separating and concentrating pancreatic islets of Langerhans for transplantation in Type 1 diabetes patients. We are developing a continuous magnetic islet sorter to overcome the restrictions of current purification methods that result in limited yield and viability. In Quadrupole Magnetic Sorting (QMS) islets are magnetized by infusing superparamagnetic microbeads into islets' vasculature via arteries that serve the pancreas. The performance of the islet sorter depends on the resulting speed of the islets in an applied magnetic field, a property known as magnetophoretic mobility. Essential to the design and successful operation of the QMS is a method to measure the magnetophoretic mobilities of magnetically infused islets. We have adapted a Magnetic Particle Tracking Velocimeter (MPTV) to measure the magnetophoretic mobility of particles up to 1,000μm in diameter. Velocity measurements are performed in a well-characterized uniform magnetic energy gradient using video imaging followed by analysis of the video images with a computer algorithm that produces a histogram of absolute mobilities. MPTV was validated using magnetic agarose beads serving as islet surrogates and subjecting them to QMS. Mobility distributions of labeled porcine islets indicated that magnetized islets have sufficient mobility to be captured by the proposed sorting method, with this result confirmed in test isolations of magnetized islets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2107-2117
Number of pages11
JournalBiotechnology and Bioengineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Magnetic flow sorter
  • Magnetic particles
  • Pancreatic islets isolation
  • Particle tracking velocimetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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