A magnetic trap for living cells suspended in a paramagnetic buffer
This manuscript describes the fabrication and use of a three-dimensional magnetic trap for diamagnetic objects in an aqueous solution of paramagnetic ions; this trap uses permanent magnets. It demonstrates trapping of polystyrene spheres, and of various types of living cells: mouse fibroblast (NIH-3T3), yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), and algae (Chlamydomonas reinhardtii). For a 40 mM solution of gadolinium (III) diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (Gd⋅DTPA) in aqueous buffer, the smallest cell (particle) that could be trapped had a radius of ∼2.5 μm. The trapped particle and location of the magnetic trap can be translated in three dimensions by independent manipulation of the permanent magnets. This letter a1so characterizes the biocompatibility of the trapping solution.