Advances in the manipulation of nanomaterials has permitted the development of nanobiotechnology with enhanced sensitivities and improved response times. Low levels of infection of the major pathogens require the need for sensitive detection platforms and the properties of nanomaterials make them suitable for the development of assays with enhanced sensitivity, improved response time and increased portability. Nanobiotechnologies focusing on the key requirements of signal amplification and pre-concentration for the development of sensitive assays for food-borne pathogen detection in food matrices will be described and evaluated. The potential that exists for the use of nanomaterials as antimicrobial agents will also be examined.Decreased detection limits of pathogens were observed using nanomaterials for signal enhancement. Reduction in pre-concentration steps resulted in faster assays. Emerging nanobiotechnologies have the potential for lower detection limits. Some nanomaterials have anti-microbial activity.
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