New patent will help improve cancer, transplant research

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A newly patented device co-developed by engineers at Ohio State University is helping scientists separate cells in the laboratory for transplant and cancer research.

The device may one day help the military as well, by detecting biological warfare agents, said Jeffrey Chalmers, professor of chemical engineering at Ohio State and co-investigator on this joint project with the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

The patent represents an improvement on devices already on the market that tag cells with magnetic markers and sort them using magnetic fields. Researchers often use the technique to sort bone marrow cells for transplant, or to find cancer cells in blood samples.

"We didn't invent magnetic cell separation -- we're refining it," explained Chalmers. "This patent covers a method and device for better measuring how well we magnetically label cells and how magnetic they are."

This latest patent is the third Chalmers and his colleagues have received during the last year for related technologies. He conducts this work with Maciej Zborowski and Lee Robert Moore, both of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

The device will better enable scientists to evaluate the quality of the magnetic particles, called reagents, that they use to tag cells for separation, Chalmers said.

"No one else can evaluate magnetic reagents like we can," he

Contact: Jeffery Chalmers
Ohio State University

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