Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering 2021; 26(1): 107-113  
Aptamer-immobilized Gold Nanoparticles Enable Facile and On-site Detection of Staphylococcus aureus
Seong Ha Lim, Yeong Chae Ryu, and Byeong Hee Hwang
Seong Ha Lim
Department of Chemistry, Incheon National University, Incheon 22012, Korea
Yeong Chae Ryu, Byeong Hee Hwang*
Department of Bioengineering and Nano-bioengineering, Incheon National University, Incheon 22012, Korea
Tel: +82-32-835-8834; Fax: +82-32-835-0804
Seong Ha Lim, Byeong Hee Hwang
Division of Bioengineering, Incheon National University, Incheon 22012, Korea
Equal contribution
Received: May 25, 2020; Revised: September 3, 2020; Accepted: September 5, 2020; Published online: February 28, 2021.
© The Korean Society for Biotechnology and Bioengineering. All rights reserved.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Staphylococcus aureus causes numerous illnesses and national loss in many countries. Therefore, to prevent food poisoning outbreaks, a rapid and straightforward onsite detection method is required without special skills or equipment. Here, we used aptamer-immobilized gold nanoparticles (aiGNPs) for the on-site colorimetric S. aureus detection. For the rapid and facile detection of S. aureus, the SA61 aptamer hybridized with thiol-modified adaptors conjugated onto the GNP surface of approximately 13 nm diameter. The synthesis of GNPs was confirmed using a transmission electron microscopy and energy dispersive spectroscopy. Images using a scanning electron microscope showed attachment of aiGNPs to S. aureus. After 30-min incubation and 20-min centrifugation, the red pellet was specifically observed with the sensitivity of OD600 0.050 equivalent to 7.5 × 106 cells/mL. Besides, aiGNPs could accurately detect S. aureus with a detection limit of OD600 0.10 equivalent to 1.5 × 107 cells/mL even in the mixed sample with Escherichia coli. Quantitative analysis was performed between relative area and cell concentration. Because this method enables fast and specific S. aureus detection without special skills or expensive equipment, aiGNPs could enable a rapid and effective on-site detection of S. aureus to prevent pathogenic outbreaks.
Keywords: aptamer, gold nanoparticle, on-site detection, Staphylococcus aureus, diagnosis

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