Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Functionalization of whole-cell bacterial reporters with magnetic nanoparticles

Zhang, Dayi; Fakhrullin, Rawil F.; Özmen, Mustafa; Wang, Hui; Wang, Jian; Paunov, Vesselin N.; Li, Guanghe; Huang, Wei E.


Dayi Zhang

Rawil F. Fakhrullin

Mustafa Özmen

Hui Wang

Jian Wang

Vesselin N. Paunov

Guanghe Li

Wei E. Huang


We developed a biocompatible and highly efficient approach for functionalization of bacterial cell wall with magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs). Three Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1 chromosomally based bioreporters, which were genetically engineered to express bioluminescence in response to salicylate, toluene/ xylene and alkanes, were functionalized with 18 3 nm iron oxide MNPs to acquire magnetic function. The efficiency of MNPs functionalization of Acinetobacter bioreporters was 99.96 0.01%. The MNPs-functionalized bioreporters (MFBs) can be remotely controlled and collected by an external magnetic field. The MFBs were all viable and functional as good as the native cells in terms of sensitivity, specificity and quantitative response. More importantly, we demonstrated that salicylate sensing MFBs can be applied to sediments and garden soils, and semiquantitatively detect salicylate in those samples by discriminably recovering MFBs with a permanent magnet. The magnetically functionalized cells are especially useful to complex environments in which the indigenous cells, particles and impurities may interfere with direct measurement of bioreporter cells and conventional filtration is not applicable to distinguish and harvest bioreporters. The approach described here provides a powerful tool to remotely control and selectively manipulate MNPsfunctionalized cells in water and soils. It would have a potential in the application of environmental microbiology, such as bioremediation enhancement and environment monitoring and assessment.


Zhang, D., Fakhrullin, R. F., Özmen, M., Wang, H., Wang, J., Paunov, V. N., …Huang, W. E. (2011). Functionalization of whole-cell bacterial reporters with magnetic nanoparticles. Microbial Biotechnology, 4(1), 89-97.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 21, 2010
Online Publication Date Nov 18, 2010
Publication Date 2011-01
Print ISSN 1751-7907
Electronic ISSN 1751-7915
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 4
Issue 1
Pages 89-97
Keywords Whole cell biosensors; Magnetic cells; Magnetic functionalization
Public URL
Publisher URL