This paper presents an investigation into magnetoelastic (ME) biosentinels that capture and detect low-concentration pathogenic bacteria in stagnant liquids. The ME biosentinels are designed to mimic a variety of white blood cell types, known as the main defensive mechanism in the human body against different pathogenic invaders. The ME biosentinels are composed of a freestanding ME resonator coated with an engineered phage that specifically binds with the pathogens of interest. These biosentinels are ferromagnetic and thus can be moved through a liquid by externally applied magnetic fields. In addition, when a time-varying magnetic field is applied, the ME biosentinels can be placed into mechanical resonance by magnetostriction. As soon as the biosentinels bind with the target pathogen through the phage-based biomolecular recognition, a change in the biosentinel’s resonant frequency occurs, and thereby the presence of the target pathogen can be detected. Detection of Bacillus anthracis spores under stagnant flow conditions was demonstrated.
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