We present and demonstrate a new method for on-chip Brownian relaxation measurements on magnetic nanobeads in the time domain using magnetoresistive sensors. The beads are being magnetized by the sensor self-field arising from the bias current passed through the sensors and thus no external magnetic fields are needed. First, the method is demonstrated on Brownian relaxation measurements of beads with nominal sizes of 40, 80, 130, and 250 nm. The results are found to compare well to those obtained by an already established measurement technique in the frequency domain. Next, we demonstrate the time and frequency domain methods on Brownian relaxation detection of clustering of streptavidin coated magnetic beads in the presence of different concentrations of biotin-conjugated bovine serum albumin and obtain comparable results. In the time domain, a measurement is carried out in less than 30 s, which is about six times faster than in the frequency domain. This substantial reduction of the measurement time allows for continuous monitoring of the bead dynamics vs. time and opens for time-resolved studies, e.g., of binding kinetics.
Journal of Applied Physics, 2013, Vol 113, Issue 23