In this paper we present a simple method to quantify aggregates of 200. nm magnetic particles. This method relies on the optical and magnetic anisotropy of particle aggregates, whereas dispersed particles are optically isotropic. We orientate aggregates by applying short pulses of a magnetic field, and we measure optical density variation directly linked to this reorientation. By computing the scattering efficiency of doublets and singlets, we demonstrate the absolute quantification of a few % of doublets in a well dispersed suspension. More generally, these optical variations are related to the aggregation state of the sample. This method can be easily applied to an agglutination assay, where target proteins induce aggregation of colloidal particles. By observing only aligned clusters, we increase sensitivity and we reduce the background noise as compared to a classical agglutination assay: we obtain a detection limit on the C-reactive protein of less than 3. pM for a total assay time of 10. min.
Ramiandrisoa, D., Brient-Litzler, E., Daynes, A., Compain, E., Bibette, J., & Baudry, J. (2015). Optical protein detection based on magnetic clusters rotation. New Biotechnology, 32(5), 467–472. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nbt.2015.03.013