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Magnetic attraction: NIST/CU microchip demonstrates concept of 'MRAM for biomolecules'
Date:10/19/2011

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NIST researchers previously demonstrated that spin valves could be used to trap and rotate particles** and recently were awarded two patents related to the idea of a magnetic chip. ***

Magnetic tags are used in bioassays such as protein and DNA purification and cell breakdown and separation. The chip demonstration provides a conceptual foundation for a more complex magnetic random access memory (MRAM) for molecular and cellular manipulation. For example, programmable microfluidic MRAM chips might simultaneously control a large number of beads, and the attached molecules or cells, to assemble "smart" tags with specified properties, such as an affinity for a given protein at a specific position in the array. NIST is also interested in developing cellular and molecular tags for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies in which individual cells, such as cancer cells or stem cells, would be tagged with a smart magnetic biomarker that can be tracked remotely in an MRI scanner, Moreland says. Automated spin valve chips might also be used in portable instruments for rapid medical diagnosis or DNA sequencing.


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Contact: Laura Ost
laura.ost@nist.gov
303-497-4880
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Source:Eurekalert  

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Magnetic attraction: NIST/CU microchip demonstrates concept of 'MRAM for biomolecules'
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