A team in the US has shown that enantiopure and racemic crystals can be separated by magnetic levitation.
The isolation of pure enantiomers is of particular importance in the pharmaceutical industry, where one enantiomer is typically responsible for the therapeutic effects of a drug, while the other may be inactive or even toxic. One alternative to the often used solution-based separation techniques such as high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is to purify the desired enantiomer from a mixture of crystals of enantiomerically pure and racemic compound.
Separation and enrichment of enantiopure from racemic compounds using magnetic levitation
Xiaochuan Yang, Shin Yee Wong, David K. Bwambok, Manza B. J. Atkinson, Xi Zhang, George M. Whitesides and Allan S. Myerson
Chem. Commun., 2014,50, 7548-7551, DOI: 10.1039/C4CC02604G, Communication