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Giant Magnetoresistive Biosensors for Time-Domain Magnetorelaxometry: A Theoretical Investigation and Progress Toward an Immunoassay.

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Magnetorelaxometry (MRX) is a promising new biosensing technique for point-of-care diagnostics. Historically, magnetic sensors have been primarily used to monitor the stray field of magnetic nanoparticles bound to analytes of interest for immunoassays and flow cytometers. In MRX, the magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) are first magnetized and then the temporal response is monitored after removing the magnetic field. This new sensing modality is insensitive to the magnetic field homogeneity making it more amenable to low-power portable applications. In this work, we systematically investigated time-domain MRX by measuring the signal dependence on the applied field, magnetization time, and magnetic core size. The extracted characteristic times varied for different magnetic MNPs, exhibiting unique magnetic signatures. We also measured the signal contribution based on the MNP location and correlated the coverage with measured signal amplitude. Lastly, we demonstrated, for the first time, a GMR-based time-domain MRX bioassay. This approach validates the feasibility of immunoassays using GMR-based MRX and provides an alternative platform for point-of-care diagnostics.

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