Marwa M. Hassan*, Andrea Ranzoni, Mark S. Butler and Matthew A. Cooper


306 Carmody road, St Lucia
 Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland
Brisbane, Queensland 4072


The presentation will focus on the lessons learnt from working on culture-free bacterial detection. The presentation will highlight different methods to detect bacterial sepsis using a universal magnetic capture. The factors affecting the bacterial magnetic binding will also be discussed with details of how to manipulate the binding affinity. 1 The direction of the presentation will be towards the clinical application of sepsis detection and the current limitations in the market.

Culture-free bacterial enrichment and detection method was developed. Magnetic nanoparticles were functionalized and evaluated for bacterial binding affinity and specificity. Magnetic nanoparticles were used to capture and concentrate bacterial cells from large volume of treated blood samples. Captured-bacterial cells were washed, eluted and processed for DNA extraction. Extracted DNA was further purified and enriched using another set of magnetic nanoparticles and bacterial DNA was detected with qPCR. Captured bacterial cells were also used for other detection approaches. The controlled conjugation on the surface of the magnetic particles as well as the universal quick culture-free method showed that the developed method had a remarkable decrease in blood sample interferences. The method successfully enriched up to 5 cfu/mL in 2.5 hours. We showed culture-free bacterial concentration method that is universal and specific for Gram-positive bacteria and can be fully automated for seamless integration into clinical practice for point-of-care or molecular detection of bacterial DNA directly from whole blood. The magnetic capture is also universal and can easily interface with other detection techniques.




[1] Hassan, M. M. et al. Bioconjugate Chem. 2017, 28, 353-361. Ligand Density of Antibiotic-Nanoparticle Conjugates Enhances Target Avidity and Membrane Permeabilization of Vancomycin-Resistant Bacteria.


Biographic Details

Name: Marwa Hassan

Title: PhD student

Affiliation, Country: Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072

Phone: +61423204846, E-mail:

Research interests: diagnosis, bacterial detection, biosensors, microbiology, resistance