Magnetic poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) (mPHEMA) beads were used in the removal of anti-dsDNA antibodies from systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patient plasma in a magnetically stabilized fluidized bed. mPHEMA beads, in the size range of 80-120 mu m, were produced by suspension technique. Then, DNA was immobilized onto mPHEMA beads by carbodiimide activation. Magnetic beads were contacted with blood in in vitro systems. Loss of blood cells and clotting times were followed. mPHEMA beads were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Important results obtained in this study are as follows: the mPHEMA beads have a spherical shape and porous structure. Loss of cells in the blood contacting with mPHEMA/DNA was negligible. The anti-dsDNA adsorption capacity decreased significantly with the increase of the flow-rate. With increasing anti-dsDNA antibody concentration, the amount of antibody adsorbed per unit mass increased, then reached saturation. Maximum anti-dsDNA antibody adsorption capacity was found to be 97.8 mg/g. Pathogenic antibody molecules could be repeatedly adsorbed and desorbed with these magnetic beads without noticeable loss in their antibody adsorption capacity. Because of the good blood-compatibility, mPHEMA is hopeful for the treatment of SLE by magnetically stabilized fluidized bed systems in the future. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.