A system for streptavidin detection using biotin conjugated to nano-sized bacterial magnetic particles (BMPs) has been developed. BMPs, isolated from magnetic bacteria, were used as magnetic markers for magnetic force microscopy (MFM) imaging. The magnetic signal was obtained from a single particle using MFM without application of an external magnetic field. The number of biotin conjugated BMPs (biotin-BMPs) bound to streptavidin immobilized on the glass slides increased with streptavidin concentrations up to 100 pg/ml. The minimum streptavidin detection limit using this technique is 1 pg/ml, which is 100 times more sensitive than a conventional fluorescent detection system. This is the first report using single domain nano-sized magnetic particles as magnetic markers for biosensing. This assay system can be used for immunoassay and DNA detection with high sensitivities.
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