Nanobioimaging and sensing of infectious diseases

Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2010 Mar 18;62(4-5):424-37. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2009.11.014. Epub 2009 Nov 25.


New methods to identify trace amount of infectious pathogens rapidly, accurately and with high sensitivity are in constant demand to prevent epidemics and loss of lives. Early detection of these pathogens to prevent, treat and contain the spread of infections is crucial. Therefore, there is a need and urgency for sensitive, specific, accurate, easy-to-use diagnostic tests. Versatile biofunctionalized engineered nanomaterials are proving to be promising in meeting these needs in diagnosing the pathogens in food, blood and clinical samples. The unique optical and magnetic properties of the nanoscale materials have been put to use for the diagnostics. In this review, we focus on the developments of the fluorescent nanoparticles, metallic nanostructures and superparamagnetic nanoparticles for bioimaging and detection of infectious microorganisms. The various nanodiagnostic assays developed to image, detect and capture infectious virus and bacteria in solutions, food or biological samples in vitro and in vivo are presented and their relevance to developing countries is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Infections / diagnosis
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Developing Countries
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods
  • Diagnostic Imaging / trends*
  • Fluorescence
  • Humans
  • Infections / diagnosis*
  • Magnetics
  • Metals
  • Nanoparticles
  • Nanotechnology / methods
  • Nanotechnology / trends*


  • Metals