Magnetic particles are widely used in lab-on-chip and biosensing applications, because they have a high surface-to-volume ratio, they can be actuated with magnetic fields and many biofunctionalization options are available. The most well-known actuation method is to apply a magnetic field gradient which generates a translational force on the particles and allows separation of the particles from a suspension. A more recently developed magnetic actuation method is to exert torque on magnetic particles by a rotating magnetic field. Rotational actuation can be achieved with a field that is uniform in space and it allows for a precise control of torque, orientation, and angular velocity of magnetic particles in lab-on-chip devices. A wide range of studies have been performed with rotating MPs, demonstrating fluid mixing, concentration determination of biological molecules in solution, and characterization of structure and function of biomolecules at the single-molecule level. In this paper we give a comprehensive review of the historical development of MP rotation studies, including configurations for field generation, physical model descriptions, and biological applications. We conclude by sketching the scientific and technological developments that can be expected in the future in the field of rotating magnetic particles for lab-on-chip applications.