Magnetic-nanosensor-based virus and pathogen detection strategies before and during covid-19

Kai Wu, Maxim C.J. Cheeran, Jian Ping Wang, Renata Saha, Diqing Su, Venkatramana D. Krishna, Jinming Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is a threat to the global healthcare system and economic security. As of July 2020, no specific drugs or vaccines are yet available for COVID-19; a fast and accurate diagnosis for SARS-CoV-2 is essential in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and for efficient implementation of control and containment strategies. Magnetic nanosensing is an emerging topic representing the frontiers of current biosensing and magnetic areas. The past decade has seen rapid growth in applying magnetic tools for biological and biomedical applications. Recent advances in magnetic nanomaterials and nanotechnologies have transformed current diagnostic methods to nanoscale and pushed the detection limit to early-stage disease diagnosis. Herein, this review covers the literature of magnetic nanosensors for virus and pathogen detection before COVID-19. We review popular magnetic nanosensing techniques including magnetoresistance, magnetic particle spectroscopy, and nuclear magnetic resonance. Magnetic point-of-care diagnostic kits are also reviewed aiming at developing plug- and-play diagnostics to manage the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak as well as preventing future epidemics. In addition, other platforms that use magnetic nanomaterials as auxiliary tools for enhanced pathogen and virus detection are also covered. The goal of this review is to inform the researchers of diagnostic and surveillance platforms for SARS-CoV-2 and their performances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9560-9580
Number of pages21
JournalACS Applied Nano Materials
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 23 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was financially supported by the Institute of Engineering in Medicine, the University of Minnesota Medical School, and the University of Minnesota Physicians and Fairview Health Services through a COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Chemical Society


  • Biosensor
  • COVID-19
  • Magnetic nanosensor
  • Magnetic particle spectroscopy
  • Magnetoresistance
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Virus


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