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Biomedical Sensor Uses GMR Sensor and Magnetic Nanoparticles

Technology #20100020

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Biomedical SensorGMR SensorFluorescence Alternative
Jian-Ping Wang, PhD
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, School of Science and Engineering
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Kevin Anderson
Technology Licensing Officer 612-624-8293
Patent Protection

PCT Patent Application PCT/US2011/060828

Biomedical Sensors using Magnetic Nanoparticles

Biologically active agents can be detected using a giant magnetoresistor (GMR) sensor and magnetic nanoparticle based coloring. Current optical fluorescence based techniques have low signal to noise and require bulky and expensive equipment. The magnetic biomedical sensor provides a low cost, high throughput, portable and high signal to noise method of detection. The magnetic signal can penetrate tissue with negligible side effects.

Note: This GMR Sensor technology has been exclusively licensed to Zepto Life Technology. If you have questions, please contact the University of Minnesota's Office for Technology Commercialization.

Giant Magnetoresistor (GMR) Sensor is Alternative to Fluorescence

The feasibility of magnetic labeling for detection of biologically active agents has been demonstrated previously. The fundamental issue addressed by this technology is the counter-part to multi-color fluorescence in magnetic detection. Using the GMR sensor and tuning the magnetic behavior of the nanoparticles, the device is able to distinguish nanoparticles attached to different biological agents in an analogous fashion to fluorescent coloring. This magnetic coloring allows, for example, observation of the reactions between proteins and cell membranes and a high-throughput method to sort molecules and cells.


  • Giant magnetoresistor (GMR) device for detecting biologically active agents such as drugs, proteins and cells.
  • Uses a ‘magnetic coloring’ technique, where nanoparticles with slightly different magnetic properties can be distinguished.
  • Low cost, portable and high signal to noise compared to fluorescence techniques.

Other technologies related to magnets by Jian-Ping Wang: