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Autonomous Internal Reflux of Magnetic Nanoparticle Chains in a Flow Channel for Efficient Detection of Waterborne Bacteria

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posted on 03.09.2021, 02:43 by Hyeonjeong Lee, Hyunsoo Han, Sangmin Jeon
Herein, we developed a novel method for the efficient capture of waterborne bacteria by creating an autonomous internal reflux of the magnetic nanoparticle chains (MNCs) inside a flow channel. A glass tube containing positively charged polyethyleneimine-coated MNCs (PEI-MNCs) was placed at the center of a Halbach ring, generating a strong and uniform magnetic field inside the ring. When a bacteria-spiked solution was injected into the tube, the target bacteria bound to the PEI-MNCs via an electrostatic interaction remained in the tube, whereas the unbound bacteria left the tube. Some PEI-MNC–bacteria complexes left the glass tube at high flow rates because of the drag force, which reduced the capture efficiency of the device. The loss of the PEI-MNC–bacteria complexes at high flow rates was suppressed by placing a k0 ring behind the Halbach ring. The k0 ring was used to apply a magnetic force in the opposite direction of the solution flow and create an autonomous reflux of the PEI-MNCs inside the glass tube, reducing their loss and increasing their capture efficiency. The capture efficiency of Escherichia coli O157 was determined based on the cell count to be greater than 90% at a flow rate of 15 mL/min. E. coli O157 was detected using quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and the limits of detection were 2 and 3 cfu/mL in deionized water and river water, respectively.

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