Interdisciplinary team of Elon faculty and students publishes research on magnetic microspheres for biomedical applications
Associate professors Ben Evans (Physics) and Tonya Train (Biology) published alongside Julia Ronecker '13 (Biochemistry), David Han '18 (Engineering), Daniel Glass '10 (Engineering), and Alison Deatsch '13 (Physics) in Materials Science and Engineering: C.
The manuscript features the development and characterization of a new class of silicone magnetic microsphere. Magnetic microspheres are widely used in the biomedical community for isolating targeted cells, proteins, and biomolecules, as well as for performing in vitro diagnostics, probing micromechanical properties of cells and tissues, and in certain types of tissue engineering.
Evans and his colleagues developed a new type of magnetic microsphere which provides tenfold more magnetic force than competing commercial products. The novel composition of the spheres results in a hundredfold reduction in the primary source of noise in certain types of medical diagnostic assays, potentially providing faster and earlier diagnosis of illness. In addition, the spheres are uniquely suited for the encapsulation and delivery of certain pharmaceuticals, suggesting utility in targeted chemotherapy treatments which may eliminate many of the side-effects of traditional chemotherapy.
This work was made possible by support from Faculty Research and Development, the Lumen Prize program, the Elon College Fellows, the Undergraduate Research Program and the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience.
The article is available online: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0928493116300923