Vancomycin-conjugated polydopamine-coated magnetic nanoparticles for molecular diagnostics of Gram-positive bacteria in whole blood

Abdurhaman Teyib Abafogi, Tepeng Wu, Daekyu Lee, Jinyeop Lee, Gyoujin Cho, Luke P. Lee, Sungsu Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Sepsis is caused mainly by infection in the blood with a broad range of bacterial species. It can be diagnosed by molecular diagnostics once compounds in the blood that interfere with molecular diagnostics are removed. However, this removal relies on ultracentrifugation. Immunomagnetic separation (IMS), which typically uses antibody-conjugated silica-coated magnetic nanoparticles (Ab-SiO2-MNPs), has been widely applied to isolate specific pathogens in various types of samples, such as food and environmental samples. However, its direct use in blood samples containing bacteria is limited due to the aggregation of SiO2-MNPs in the blood and inability to isolate multiple species of bacteria causing sepsis. Results: In this study, we report the synthesis of vancomycin-conjugated polydopamine-coated (van-PDA-MNPs) enabling preconcentration of multiple bacterial species from blood without aggregation. The presence of PDA and van on MNPs was verified using transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and energy disruptive spectroscopy. Unlike van-SiO2-MNPs, van-PDA-MNPs did not aggregate in the blood. Van-PDA-MNPs were able to preconcentrate several species of Gram-positive bacteria in the blood, lowering the limit of detection (LOD) to 10 colony forming units/mL by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and quantitative PCR (qPCR). This is 10 times more sensitive than the LOD obtained by PCR and qPCR using van-SiO2-MNPs. Conclusion: These results suggest that PDA-MNPs can avoid aggregation in blood and be conjugated with receptors, thereby improving the sensitivity of molecular diagnostics of bacteria in blood samples.

Original languageEnglish
Article number400
JournalJournal of Nanobiotechnology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


  • Aggregation
  • Immunomagnetic separation
  • Molecular diagnostics
  • Polydopamine
  • Preconcentration
  • Sepsis


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