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You are here: McMaster Industry Liaison Office > Opportunities > Technologies > Technologies Inventory > Lab-on-a-Chip Target Isolation

Lab-on-a-Chip Target Isolation

Researchers at McMaster University have developed a method for rapid benchtop fabrication of multi-scale micro-electromagnets for capturing magnetic particles on a lab-on-a-chip (LOC) compatible platform.
Lab-on-a-Chip Target Isolation

Isolation of magnetic particles with Multi-scale micro-electromagnets. Scale bar is 100 um.


This application enables high efficiency target isolation of rare targets (eg. cells or biomolecules) by capturing them with functionalized magnetic particles in solution and isolating them on micro-electromagnets with an on-chip magnetic field.

Enabling the efficient isolation of magnetic particles with micro-electromagnets at low applied currents is important to avoid Joule heating. McMaster University researchers have developed multi-scale structures using micro/nano wrinkling as well as an active-passive magnet design to greatly increase the magnetic flux density. This results in high magnetic flux densities for magnetic particle capture and isolation at low currents.

The devices are fabricated using rapid prototyping methods available on the benchtop and are compatible with LOC technology. These devices will also be compatible with a number of detection schemes, including but not limited to: fluorescent labeling, electrochemical/electrical readout, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, plasmonic based detection.

Applications and Advantages

Possible commercial applications include the isolation and detection of low concentration targets in solution, such as rare or single cells and biomolecules. This technology is suitable for both rapid laboratory development environments as well as industrial applications.

Advantages include:

  • Lab-on-a-chip compatibility
  • Benchtop, rapid prototyping fabrication methods
  • High magnetic flux density on-chip without external magnets
  • High magnetic flux density with low applied currents
  • Compatible with a wide array of detection methods

Tech ID



Leyla Soleymani
Amin Hosseini

Patent Status

US Patent filed

Stage of Research

Proof of Principle data available


Jonathan Boulanger
Business Development Officer
W: 905-525-9140 ext. 28209
C: 905-630-7378