Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) exhibit unique magnetic properties making them ideally suited for a variety of biomedical applications. Depending on the desired magnetic effect, MNPs must meet special magnetic requirements which are mainly determined by their structural properties (e.g., size distribution). The hyphenation of chromatographic separation techniques with complementary detectors is capable of providing multidimensional information of submicron particles. Although various methods have already been combined for this approach, so far, no detector for the online magnetic analysis was used. Magnetic particle spectroscopy (MPS) has been proven a straightforward technique for specific quantification and characterization of MNPs. It combines high sensitivity with high temporal resolution; both of these are prerequisites for a successful hyphenation with chromatographic separation. We demonstrate the capability of MPS to specifically detect and characterize MNPs under usually applied asymmetric flow field-flow fractionation (A4F) conditions (flow rates, MNP concentration, different MNP types). To this end MPS has been successfully integrated into an A4F multidetector platform including dynamic ligth scattering (DLS), multi-angle light scattering (MALS) and ultraviolet (UV) detection. Our system allows for rapid and comprehensive characterization of typical MNP samples for the systematic investigation of structure-dependent magnetic properties. This has been demonstrated by magnetic analysis of the commercial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent Ferucarbotran (FER) during hydrodynamic A4F fractionation.
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