Nuclear magnetic resonance biosensor for rapid detection of Vibrio parahaemolyticus

Sara Hash, M. Pilar Martinez-Viedma, Fred Fung, Jee Eun Han, Paul Yang, Charlene Wong, Loganathan Doraisamy, Suresh Menon, Donald Lightner

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    25 Scopus citations


    Background: Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a Gram-negative bacterium widely distributed in marine environments and a well-recognized invertebrate pathogen frequently isolated from seafood. V. parahaemolyticus may also spread into humans, via contaminated, raw, or undercooked seafood, causing gastroenteritis and diarrhea. Methods: A Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)-based detection system was used to detect pathogenic levels of this microorganism (105 CFU/ml) with Molecular Mirroring using iron nanoparticles coated with target-specific biomarkers capable of binding to DNA of the target microorganism. The NMR system generates a signal (in milliseconds) by measuring NMR spin–spin relaxation time T2, which correlates with the amount of microorganism DNA. Results: Compared with conventional microbiology techniques such as real-time PCR (qPCR), the NMR biosensor showed similar limits of detection (LOD) at different concentrations (105–108 CFU/ml) using two DNA extraction methods. In addition, the NMR biosensor system can detect a wide range of microorganism DNAs in different matrices within a short period of time. Conclusion: NMR biosensor represents a potential tool for diagnostic and quality control to ensure microbial pathogens such as V. parahaemolyticus are not the cause of infection. The “hybrid” technology (NMR and nanoparticle application) opens a new platform for detecting other microbial pathogens that have impacted human health, animal health and food safety.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)187-192
    Number of pages6
    JournalBiomedical Journal
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Jun 2019


    • Aquaculture
    • Biosensors
    • Food safety
    • Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)
    • Vibrio parahaemolyticus

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Medicine(all)


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