The method of activated swelling of polymer particles developed by the authors allows the preparation of monodisperse spherical beads of predictable size from 1 to 100 µm in diameter. The polymer particles may be prepared from a number of different monomeric materials and with various morphologies including macroporous structures. The porous beads form the basis for magnetizable monodisperse polymer particles which have magnetic iron oxides distributed as small grains all through the volume of the beads. The magnetic particles are being used extensively for selective cell separation and for immunomagnetic separation within microbiology and molecular biology. A review of recent work within these fields is given. New methods for positive cell separation are announced.

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