Summary of Awards to Date

STTR Phase I:Magnetic nanoparticle microfluidics for high efficient capture, separation and concetration of foodborne pathogens.

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Jul. 1, 2008 - Jun. 30, 2009

Award Number


Funding Agency

National Science Foundation

Amount Awarded



Yongqiang Wang, Ph.D.
Ocean NanoTech, LLC


This Small Business Technology Transfer Phase I research demonstrates the feasibility to use the new generation of oxide magnetic nanoparticles for rapid and high efficient separation of foodborne pathogens. Rapid detection of foodborne pathogens is urgently needed to ensure food safety and security, and in developing new detection methods, separation of target pathogens at ultra low concentrations (1 - 100 cfu/mL) from food is very critical. The recently developed nanoparticles (4 - 50 nm) with high magnetization value and well controlled size and surface chemistry show great potential for their use in bioseparation. Therefore, the objective of this project is to apply new oxide magnetic nanoparticles to a portable, inexpensive magnetic separator for rapid and high efficient separation of foodborne pathogens. In Phase I of this project, E. coli O157:H7 will be used as the target bacterium to test magnetic nanoparticles with different sizes and structures, to evaluate antibody-nanoparticle conjugates, different buffer solutions and protocols. The broader impacts of this research are to improve the safety and security of the nation's food supply and biological systems. The proposed new technology will greatly enhance the rapid detection of pathogens in food products, and thus to reduce foodborne illnesses. Also, the outcome of this proposed research should provide direct economic benefits to the food industry in terms of reduced product recalls and international trade barrier due to microbial contamination.