Nanomaterial biosensors have revolutionized the entire scientific, technology, biomedical, materials science, and engineering fields. Among all nanomaterials, magnetic nanoparticles, microparticles, and beads are unique in offering facile conjugation of biorecognition probes for selective capturing of any desired analytes from complex real sample matrices (e.g., biofluids such as whole blood, serum, urine and saliva, tissues, food, and environmental samples). In addition, rapid separation of the particle-captured analytes by the simple use of a magnet for subsequent detection on a sensor unit makes the magnetic particle sensor approach very attractive. The easy magnetic isolation feature of target analytes is not possible with other inorganic particles, both metallic (e.g., gold) and non-metallic (e.g., silica), which require difficult centrifugation and separation steps. Magnetic particle biosensors have thus enabled ultra-low detection with ultra-high sensitivity that has traditionally been achieved only by radioactive assays and other tedious optical sources. Moreover, when traditional approaches failed to selectively detect low-concentration analytes in complex matrices (e.g., colorimetric, electrochemistry, and optical methods), magnetic particle-incorporated sensing strategies enabled sample concentration into a defined microvolume of large surface area particles for a straightforward detection. The objective of this article is to highlight the ever-growing applications of magnetic materials for the detection of analytes present in various real sample matrices. The central idea of this paper was to show the versatility and advantages of using magnetic particles for a variety of sample matrices and analyte types and the adaptability of different transducers with the magnetic particle approaches.
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