Magnetic nanoparticles detect and remove harmful bacteria

Nov 19, 2007

Researchers in Ohio report the development of magnetic nanoparticles that show promise for quickly detecting and eliminating E. coli, anthrax, and other harmful bacteria. In laboratory studies, the nanoparticles helped detect a strain of E. coli within five minutes and removed 88 percent of the target bacteria, the scientists say. Their study is scheduled for the Nov. 7 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Xuefei Huang and colleagues point out that ongoing incidents of produce contamination and the threat of bioterrorist attacks have created an urgent need for quicker, more effective ways to detect bacterial decontamination. To meet that need, they developed a “magnetic glyco-nanoparticle (MGNP),” a unique compound that combines magnetic nanoparticles with sugars.

Sugars (or carbohydrates) on cell surfaces are used by many bacteria to attach to their host cells in order to facilitate infection. The scientists exposed a group of E. coli bacteria to the sugar-coated nano-magnets to mark the microbes so they could be easily identified and removed by a magnetic device. The researchers also used the particles to distinguish between three different E. coli strains.

The study represents “the first time that magnetic nanoparticles have been used to detect, quantify, and differentiate E. coli cells,” the researchers state.

Source: American Chemical Society

Explore further: Crystallizing the DNA nanotechnology dream: Scientists have designed the first large DNA crystals

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nanosilver for therapy and diagnostics

May 12, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Nowadays, everyday life would be inconceivable without nanotechnology. It is also ever-present in medical technology – both in therapy and diagnostics. Researchers from ETH Zurich have ...

Detecting lethal diseases with rust and sand

Jan 31, 2011

The next big thing in medical diagnostics could be minutes particles of rust, iron oxide, coated with the material from which sand is formed, silicon dioxide. These magnetic nanoparticles, a mere 29 to 230 nanometers across, ...

Acoustic tweezers can position tiny objects

Aug 28, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Manipulating tiny objects like single cells or nanosized beads often requires relatively large, unwieldy equipment, but now a system that uses sound as a tiny tweezers can be small enough ...

Recommended for you

Energy storage of the future

17 hours ago

Personal electronics such as cell phones and laptops could get a boost from some of the lightest materials in the world.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

BrianH
not rated yet Jun 26, 2009
Edit note: you blew this phrase: "more effective ways to detect bacterial decontamination." Surely 'contamination' is what they want to detect!