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Development of Nanofiber and Surface Plasmon Resonance Sensors for VOCs, Biochemical, and Bacterial Analysis

  • Author(s): Tran, Kelvin
  • Advisor(s): Cheng, Quan
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license
Abstract

It is important to monitor potential exposure to various chemicals and toxicants that may adversely affect both human and environmental health. Biosensors have been developed to identify and quantify these analytes of interest in early warning systems and diagnosis devices. This dissertation implements nanomaterials, such as nanofibers and nanoparticles, into the biological recognition element of a biosensor for selectively and sensitively to detect trace analytes in either gas, liquid, or solid phases.

This dissertation is an agglomeration of several different projects that investigates the novel applications of nanomaterials into biosensor designs with two major application focuses: nanofibers and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) The first half of this dissertation focuses on the application of nanofiber surfaces for sensor developments. The nanofibers were fabricated through electrospinning and incorporated into various sensor designs. The first project develops polyaniline nanofibers into a chemiresistor sensor for sensitive detection of VOCs (small chain alcohols) by employing variants of reduced graphene oxides. The second project applies the nanofiber property of high surface area to volume ratio to maximize surface adsorption of EDTA-functionalized silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) as the biorecognition element of this sensor. The EDTA-AgNPs formulates a nickel ion bridge for selective capture and release of NTA and His tagged proteins that can be detected through fluorescent spectroscopy.

The second half of this dissertation transitions into the application of surface plasmon resonance for the development of biosensor signal transducers. The third project focused on combining the potential of 3D printing with gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) to create a novel integrated localized SPR (LSPR) sensor surface capable of sensitive protein detection. The synthesis of gold nanoparticles in-situ on a 3D printed prism surface enables the fabrication of a biosensor device for the disposable field of site usage with qualities comparable performances with sensors using commercial optical prisms. The last project focuses on developing an SPR experimental model of a double lipid bilayer membrane. This model mimics the unique structure of the double lipid bilayer membrane system found in the chloroplast, mitochondria, and gram-negative bacteria. This novel experimental model combined with SPR analysis creates a biosensor platform that enables the interrogation of chemical and protein interactions at interfaces such as the gram-negative bacteria cell wall and membrane system.

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