Swarming Magnetic Microrobots for Pathogen Isolation from Milk

Carmen C. Mayorga-Martinez, Marketa Castoralova, Jaroslav Zelenka, Tomas Ruml, Martin Pumera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bovine mastitis produced by Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) causes major problems in milk production due to the staphylococcal enterotoxins produced by this bacterium. These enterotoxins are stable and cannot be eradicated easily by common hygienic procedures once they are formed in dairy products. Here, magnetic microrobots (MagRobots) are developed based on paramagnetic hybrid microstructures loaded with IgG from rabbit serum that can bind and isolate S. aureus from milk in a concentration of 3.42 104 CFU g−1 (allowable minimum level established by the United States Food and Drug Administration, FDA). Protein A, which is present on the cell wall of S. aureus, selectively binds IgG from rabbit serum and loads the bacteria onto the surface of the MagRobots. The selective isolation of S. aureus is confirmed using a mixed suspension of S. aureus and Escherichia coli (E. coli). Moreover, this fuel-free system based on magnetic robots does not affect the natural milk microbiota or add any toxic compound resulting from fuel catalysis. This system can be used to isolate and transport efficiently S. aureus and discriminate it from nontarget bacteria for subsequent identification. Finally, this system can be scaled up for industrial use in food production.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the project “Advanced Functional Nanorobots” (Reg. No. CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/15_003/0000444 financed by the EFRR).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Wiley-VCH GmbH.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biomaterials
  • Materials Science(all)


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