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A label-free optical biosensor for rapid bacteria detection is introduced. The biosensor is based on a nanostructured porous Si, which is designed to directly capture the target bacteria cells onto its surface. We use monoclonal antibodies, immobilized onto the porous transducer, as the capture probes. Our studies demonstrate the applicability of these biosensors for the detection of low bacterial concentrations within minutes with no prior sample processing (such as cell lysis).