The isolation of a specific cell population from a complex sample has become a common lab procedure. The availability of highly specific antibodies and the demand for targeted applications keeps on pushing the limits of the cell separation field. Thus far, three major techniques have been used for cell separation: centrifugation-based methods, fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), and magnetic cell sorting. FACS and magnetic cell sorting offer the advantage of a more specific isolation, as they use antibodies to select the target population. However, they differ fundamentally in the way they work. So how does magnetic cell separation work?


Basically, specific antibodies that are conjugated to magnetic particles will bind to the cells expressing the target antigen. Applying a magnetic field will attract the cells towards the magnet, separating them from the rest of the cells. Alternatively, a 2-step separation process can be done. For example biotin-antibody conjugates followed by streptavidin-conjugated beads, or a similar approach, can also be used.

protocol video image

View MojoSort™ General Protocol Video…


Frequently Asked Questions

Please review the following common questions to learn more about the MojoSort™ Magnetic Separation System, its properties, usage and applications. Contact our Technical Service Group if you need more information.


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What is the shelf-life of your magnetic particles?

1 to 2 years depending on product type.


What is the coating on your magnetic particles?

Hydrophilic polymers.


Can your magnetic particles withstand freeze/thaw cycles?

Not recommended, however lyophilized particles can be made available as a custom product.


What is the size of your magnetic particles?

The average diameter is approximately 130 nm.


What is the guarantee time of your magnetic particles?

A minimum of 6 months from the date of purchase.


Do your magnetic particles get internalized by the cells?

We have not determined this yet.


Are downstream applications affected by the magnetic beads bound to the cells?

We have tested mouse CD4 positive cells that have been isolated from the spleen and lymph nodes with directly conjugated Nanobeads, as well as CX3CR1 expressing cells from mouse bone marrow. The cells appear unaffected as assessed by migration, differentiation and stimulation assays.


Will your magnetic particles separate well in other company’s magnetic separation systems?

It is possible that other magnetic separation systems can be used. To learn more about this please contact our Technical Service Group.


Do you provide a custom conjugation service to your magnetic particles?

Yes, we do. Please contact our Custom Solutions Team at


Is there a way to detach your magnetic particles from the cell surface?

No, not currently.  We have found that cells are functional without the need to detach the magnetic Nanobeads.


What is the storage buffer of your particles?

The particles are stored in a neutral pH solution containing BSA and sodium azide.


Can your magnetic particles be sterile filtered?

Yes, they can be sterile filtered as the particles are smaller than 0.22 µm.


Can I stain positively sorted cells by flow cytometry?

Yes, this is possible, but if you are staining for the same marker as used for sorting, we would recommend using a different clone with non-overlapping epitopes.


Are there any clone restrictions when checking the purity of isolated cells?

There are no restrictions for negatively selected cells, as they are untouched by antibodies. For positive selection, there may be clones that are less efficient than others due to possible epitope competition. Please refer to the Technical Data Sheet or contact the Technical Service Group for advice.


Are your magnetic particles suitable for use with whole blood?

We have not tested this application yet.


What is the composition of your MojoSort™ Buffer?

The diluted, 1X MojoSort™ buffer contains 1X phosphate buffer saline (PBS) supplemented with 2 mM EDTA and 0.5% BSA. The 5X solution is sterile. To preserve sterility dilute with sterile water under sterile conditions.


Do you offer your base magnetic particles (i.e. without any streptavidin or antibody conjugation)?

No, not currently.


Are MojoSort™ Nanobeads compatible with other commercially available magnetic separation systems?

MojoSort™ magnetic particles can be used with other commercially available magnetic separators, both free standing magnets and column-based systems.  Because MojoSort™ protocols are optimized for the MojoSort™ separator, the protocols may need to be adjusted for other systems.  Please contact BioLegend Technical Service for more information and guidance.  We do not recommend using MojoSort™ particles for BD’s IMag™ or Life Technologies’ DynaMag™.