Matching Items (86)
- Genre: Academic theses
- Creators: Goryll, Michael
Detection of molecular interactions is critical for understanding many biological processes, for detecting disease biomarkers, and for screening drug candidates. Fluorescence-based approach can be problematic, especially when applied to the detection of small molecules. Various label-free techniques, such as surface plasmon resonance technique are sensitive to mass, making it extremely challenging to detect small molecules. In this thesis, novel detection methods for molecular interactions are described.
First, a simple detection paradigm based on reflectance interferometry is developed. This method is simple, low cost and can be easily applied for protein array detection.
Second, a label-free charge sensitive optical detection (CSOD) technique is developed for detecting of both large and small molecules. The technique is based on that most molecules relevant to biomedical research and applications are charged or partially charged. An optical fiber is dipped into the well of a microplate. It detects the surface charge of the fiber, which does not decrease with the size (mass) of the molecule, making it particularly attractive for studying small molecules.
Third, a method for mechanically amplification detection of molecular interactions (MADMI) is developed. It provides quantitative analysis of small molecules interaction with membrane proteins in intact cells. The interactions are monitored by detecting a mechanical deformation in the membrane induced by the molecular interactions. With this novel method small molecules and membrane proteins interaction in the intact cells can be detected. This new paradigm provides mechanical amplification of small interaction signals, allowing us to measure the binding kinetics of both large and small molecules with membrane proteins, and to analyze heterogeneous nature of the binding kinetics between different cells, and different regions of a single cell.
Last, by tracking the cell membrane edge deformation, binding caused downstream event – granule secretory has been measured. This method focuses on the plasma membrane change when granules fuse with the cell. The fusion of granules increases the plasma membrane area and thus the cell edge expands. The expansion is localized at the vesicle release location. Granule size was calculated based on measured edge expansion. The membrane deformation due to the granule release is real-time monitored by this method.
In mesoscopic physics, conductance fluctuations are a quantum interference phenomenon that comes from the phase interference of electron wave functions scattered by the impurity disorder. During the past few decades, conductance fluctuations have been studied in various materials including metals, semiconductors and graphene. Since the patterns of conductance fluctuations is related to the distributions and configurations of the impurity scatterers, each sample has its unique pattern of fluctuations, which is considered as a sample fingerprint. Thus, research on conductance fluctuations attracts attention worldwide for its importance in both fundamental physics and potential technical applications. Since early experimental measurements of conductance fluctuations showed that the amplitudes of the fluctuations are on order of a universal value (e2/h), theorists proposed the hypothesis of ergodicity, e.g. the amplitudes of the conductance fluctuations by varying impurity configurations is the same as that from varying the Fermi energy or varying the magnetic field. They also proposed the principle of universality; e.g., that the observed fluctuations would appear the same in all materials. Recently, transport experiments in graphene reveal a deviation of fluctuation amplitudes from those expected from ergodicity.
Thus, in my thesis work, I have carried out numerical research on the conductance fluctuations in GaAs nanowires and graphene nanoribbons in order to examine whether or not the theoretical principles of universality and ergodicity hold. Finite difference methods are employed to study the conductance fluctuations in GaAs nanowires, but an atomic basis tight-binding model is used in calculations of graphene nanoribbons. Both short-range disorder and long-range disorder are considered in the simulations of graphene. A stabilized recursive scattering matrix technique is used to calculate the conductance. In particular, the dependence of the observed fluctuations on the amplitude of the disorder has been investigated. Finally, the root-mean-square values of the amplitude of conductance fluctuations are calculated as a basis with which to draw the appropriate conclusions. The results for Fermi energy sweeps and magnetic field sweeps are compared and effects of magnetic fields on the conductance fluctuations of Fermi energy sweeps are discussed for both GaAs nanowires and graphene nanoribbons.
In the nano-regime many materials exhibit properties that are quite different from their bulk counterparts. These nano-properties have been shown to be useful in a wide range of applications with nanomaterials being used for catalysts, in energy production, as protective coatings, and in medical treatment. While there is no shortage of exciting and novel applications, the world of nanomaterials suffers from a lack of large scale manufacturing techniques. The current methods and equipment used for manufacturing nanomaterials are generally slow, expensive, potentially dangerous, and material specific. The research and widespread use of nanomaterials has undoubtedly been hindered by this lack of appropriate tooling. This work details the effort to create a novel nanomaterial synthesis and deposition platform capable of operating at industrial level rates and reliability.
The tool, referred to as Deppy, deposits material via hypersonic impaction, a two chamber process that takes advantage of compressible fluids operating in the choked flow regime to accelerate particles to up several thousand meters per second before they impact and stick to the substrate. This allows for the energetic separation of the synthesis and deposition processes while still behaving as a continuous flow reactor giving Deppy the unique ability to independently control the particle properties and the deposited film properties. While the ultimate goal is to design a tool capable of producing a broad range of nanomaterial films, this work will showcase Deppy's ability to produce silicon nano-particle films as a proof of concept.
By adjusting parameters in the upstream chamber the particle composition was varied from completely amorphous to highly crystalline as confirmed by Raman spectroscopy. By adjusting parameters in the downstream chamber significant variation of the film's density was achieved. Further it was shown that the system is capable of making these adjustments in each chamber without affecting the operation of the other.
Zinc oxide (ZnO), a naturally n-type semiconductor has been identified as a promising candidate to replace indium tin oxide (ITO) as the transparent electrode in solar cells, because of its wide bandgap (3.37 eV), abundant source materials and suitable refractive index (2.0 at 600 nm). Spray deposition is a convenient and low cost technique for large area and uniform deposition of semiconductor thin films. In particular, it provides an easier way to dope the film by simply adding the dopant precursor into the starting solution. In order to reduce the resistivity of undoped ZnO, many works have been done by doping in the ZnO with either group IIIA elements or VIIA elements using spray pyrolysis. However, the resistivity is still too high to meet TCO's resistivity requirement. In the present work, a novel co-spray deposition technique is developed to bypass a fundamental limitation in the conventional spray deposition technique, i.e. the deposition of metal oxides from incompatible precursors in the starting solution. With this technique, ZnO films codoped with one cationic dopant, Al, Cr, or Fe, and an anionic dopant, F, have been successfully synthesized, in which F is incompatible with all these three cationic dopants. Two starting solutions were prepared and co-sprayed through two separate spray heads. One solution contained only the F precursor, NH 4F. The second solution contained the Zn and one cationic dopant precursors, Zn(O 2CCH 3) 2 and AlCl 3, CrCl 3, or FeCl 3. The deposition was carried out at 500 °C; on soda-lime glass in air. Compared to singly-doped ZnO thin films, codoped ZnO samples showed better electrical properties. Besides, a minimum sheet resistance, 55.4 Ω/sq, was obtained for Al and F codoped ZnO films after vacuum annealing at 400 °C;, which was lower than singly-doped ZnO with either Al or F. The transmittance for the Al and F codoped ZnO samples was above 90% in the visible range. This co-spray deposition technique provides a simple and cost-effective way to synthesize metal oxides from incompatible precursors with improved properties.
Resistance switching in chalcogenide based programmable metallization cells (PMC) and sensors under gamma-rays
Chalcogenide glass (ChG) materials have gained wide attention because of their applications in conductive bridge random access memory (CBRAM), phase change memories (PC-RAM), optical rewritable disks (CD-RW and DVD-RW), microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), microfluidics, and optical communications. One of the significant properties of ChG materials is the change in the resistivity of the material when a metal such as Ag or Cu is added to it by diffusion. This study demonstrates the potential radiation-sensing capabilities of two metal/chalcogenide glass device configurations. Lateral and vertical device configurations sense the radiation-induced migration of Ag+ ions in germanium selenide glasses via changes in electrical resistance between electrodes on the ChG. Before irradiation, these devices exhibit a high-resistance `OFF-state' (in the order of 10E12) but following irradiation, with either 60-Co gamma-rays or UV light, their resistance drops to a low-resistance `ON-state' (around 10E3). Lateral devices have exhibited cyclical recovery with room temperature annealing of the Ag doped ChG, which suggests potential uses in reusable radiation sensor applications. The feasibility of producing inexpensive flexible radiation sensors has been demonstrated by studying the effects of mechanical strain and temperature stress on sensors formed on flexible polymer substrate. The mechanisms of radiation-induced Ag/Ag+ transport and reactions in ChG have been modeled using a finite element device simulator, ATLAS. The essential reactions captured by the simulator are radiation-induced carrier generation, combined with reduction/oxidation for Ag species in the chalcogenide film. Metal-doped ChGs are solid electrolytes that have both ionic and electronic conductivity. The ChG based Programmable Metallization Cell (PMC) is a technology platform that offers electric field dependent resistance switching mechanisms by formation and dissolution of nano sized conductive filaments in a ChG solid electrolyte between oxidizable and inert electrodes. This study identifies silver anode agglomeration in PMC devices following large radiation dose exposure and considers device failure mechanisms via electrical and material characterization. The results demonstrate that by changing device structural parameters, silver agglomeration in PMC devices can be suppressed and reliable resistance switching may be maintained for extremely high doses ranging from 4 Mrad(GeSe) to more than 10 Mrad (ChG).
Continuous monitoring in the adequate temporal and spatial scale is necessary for a better understanding of environmental variations. But field deployments of molecular biological analysis platforms in that scale are currently hindered because of issues with power, throughput and automation. Currently, such analysis is performed by the collection of large sample volumes from over a wide area and transporting them to laboratory testing facilities, which fail to provide any real-time information. This dissertation evaluates the systems currently utilized for in-situ field analyses and the issues hampering the successful deployment of such bioanalytial instruments for environmental applications. The design and development of high throughput, low power, and autonomous Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) instruments, amenable for portable field operations capable of providing quantitative results is presented here as part of this dissertation. A number of novel innovations have been reported here as part of this work in microfluidic design, PCR thermocycler design, optical design and systems integration. Emulsion microfluidics in conjunction with fluorinated oils and Teflon tubing have been used for the fluidic module that reduces cross-contamination eliminating the need for disposable components or constant cleaning. A cylindrical heater has been designed with the tubing wrapped around fixed temperature zones enabling continuous operation. Fluorescence excitation and detection have been achieved by using a light emitting diode (LED) as the excitation source and a photomultiplier tube (PMT) as the detector. Real-time quantitative PCR results were obtained by using multi-channel fluorescence excitation and detection using LED, optical fibers and a 64-channel multi-anode PMT for measuring continuous real-time fluorescence. The instrument was evaluated by comparing the results obtained with those obtained from a commercial instrument and found to be comparable. To further improve the design and enhance its field portability, this dissertation also presents a framework for the instrumentation necessary for a portable digital PCR platform to achieve higher throughputs with lower power. Both systems were designed such that it can easily couple with any upstream platform capable of providing nucleic acid for analysis using standard fluidic connections. Consequently, these instruments can be used not only in environmental applications, but portable diagnostics applications as well.
This work explores how flexible electronics and display technology can be applied to develop new biomedical devices for medical, biological, and life science applications. It demonstrates how new biomedical devices can be manufactured by only modifying or personalizing the upper layers of a conventional thin film transistor (TFT) display process. This personalization was applied first to develop and demonstrate the world's largest flexible digital x-ray detector for medical and industrial imaging, and the world's first flexible ISFET pH biosensor using TFT technology. These new, flexible, digital x-ray detectors are more durable than conventional glass substrate x-ray detectors, and also can conform to the surface of the object being imaged. The new flexible ISFET pH biosensors are >10X less expensive to manufacture than comparable CMOS-based ISFETs and provide a sensing area that is orders of magnitude larger than CMOS-based ISFETs. This allows for easier integration with area intensive chemical and biological recognition material as well as allow for a larger number of unique recognition sites for low cost multiple disease and pathogen detection.
The flexible x-ray detector technology was then extended to demonstrate the viability of a new technique to seamlessly combine multiple smaller flexible x-ray detectors into a single very large, ultimately human sized, composite x-ray detector for new medical imaging applications such as single-exposure, low-dose, full-body digital radiography. Also explored, is a new approach to increase the sensitivity of digital x-ray detectors by selectively disabling rows in the active matrix array that are not part of the imaged region. It was then shown how high-resolution, flexible, organic light-emitting diode display (OLED) technology can be used to selectively stimulate and/or silence small groups of neurons on the cortical surface or within the deep brain as a potential new tool to diagnose and treat, as well as understand, neurological diseases and conditions. This work also explored the viability of a new miniaturized high sensitivity fluorescence measurement-based lab-on-a-chip optical biosensor using OLED display and a-Si:H PiN photodiode active matrix array technology for point-of-care diagnosis of multiple disease or pathogen biomarkers in a low cost disposable configuration.
Development of New Front Side Metallization Method of Aluminum Electroplating for Silicon Solar Cell
In this thesis, the methods of aluminum electroplating in an ionic liquid for silicon solar cell front side metallization were studied. It focused on replacing the current silver screen printing with an alternative metallization technology using a low-cost Earth-abundant metal for mass production, due to the high cost and limited availability of silver. A conventional aluminum electroplating method was employed for silicon solar cells fabrication on both p-type and n-type substrates. The highest efficiency of 17.9% was achieved in the n-type solar cell with a rear junction, which is comparable to that of the same structure cell with screen printed silver electrodes from industrial production lines. It also showed better spiking resistant performance than the common structure p-type solar cell. Further efforts were put on the development of a novel light-induced plating of aluminum technique. The aluminum was deposited directly on a silicon substrate without the assistance of a conductive seed layer, thus simplified and reduced the process cost. The plated aluminum has good adhesion to the silicon surface with the resistivity as low as 4×10–6 -cm. A new demo tool was designed and set up for the light-induced plating experiment, aiming to utilize this technique in large-size solar cells fabrication and mass production. Besides the metallization methods, a comprehensive sensitivity analysis for the efficiency dispersion in the production of crystalline-Si solar cells was presented based on numerical simulations. Temperature variation in the diffusion furnace was the most significant cause of the efficiency dispersion. It was concluded that a narrow efficiency range of ±0.5% absolute is achievable if the emitter diffusion temperature is confined to a 13˚C window, while other cell parameters vary within their normal windows. Possible methods to minimize temperature variation in emitter diffusion were proposed.
Diagnostic and Therapeutic MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) Devices for the Identification and Treatment of Human Disease
Early detection and treatment of disease is paramount for improving human health and wellness. Micro-scale devices promote new opportunities for the rapid, cost-effective, and accurate identification of altered biological states indicative of disease early-onset; these devices function at a scale more sensitive to numerous biological processes. The application of Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) in biomedical settings has recently emerged and flourished over course of the last two decades, requiring a deep understanding of material biocompatibility, biosensing sensitively/selectively, biological constraints for artificial tissue/organ replacement, and the regulations in place to ensure device safety. Capitalizing on the inherent physical differences between cancerous and healthy cells, our ultra-thin silicone membrane enables earlier identification of bladder cancer—with a 70% recurrence rate. Building on this breakthrough, we have devised an array to multiplex this sample-analysis in real-time as well as expanding beyond bladder cancer. The introduction of new materials—with novel properties—to augment current and create innovative medical implants requires the careful analysis of material impact on cellular toxicity, mutagenicity, reactivity, and stability. Finally, the achievement of replacing defective biological systems with implanted artificial equivalents that must function within the same biological constraints, have consistent reliability, and ultimately show the promise of improving human health as demonstrated by our hydrogel check valve. The ongoing proliferation, expanding prevalence, and persistent improvement in MEMS devices through greater sensitivity, specificity, and integration with biological processes will undoubtedly bolster medical science with novel MEMS-based diagnostics and therapeutics.
High performance microbial fuel cells and supercapacitors using Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) technology
A Microbial fuel cell (MFC) is a bio-inspired carbon-neutral, renewable electrochemical converter to extract electricity from catabolic reaction of micro-organisms. It is a promising technology capable of directly converting the abundant biomass on the planet into electricity and potentially alleviate the emerging global warming and energy crisis. The current and power density of MFCs are low compared with conventional energy conversion techniques. Since its debut in 2002, many studies have been performed by adopting a variety of new configurations and structures to improve the power density. The reported maximum areal and volumetric power densities range from 19 mW/m2 to 1.57 W/m2 and from 6.3 W/m3 to 392 W/m3, respectively, which are still low compared with conventional energy conversion techniques. In this dissertation, the impact of scaling effect on the performance of MFCs are investigated, and it is found that by scaling down the characteristic length of MFCs, the surface area to volume ratio increases and the current and power density improves. As a result, a miniaturized MFC fabricated by Micro-Electro-Mechanical System(MEMS) technology with gold anode is presented in this dissertation, which demonstrate a high power density of 3300 W/m3. The performance of the MEMS MFC is further improved by adopting anodes with higher surface area to volume ratio, such as carbon nanotube (CNT) and graphene based anodes, and the maximum power density is further improved to a record high power density of 11220 W/m3. A novel supercapacitor by regulating the respiration of the bacteria is also presented, and a high power density of 531.2 A/m2 (1,060,000 A/m3) and 197.5 W/m2 (395,000 W/m3), respectively, are marked, which are one to two orders of magnitude higher than any previously reported microbial electrochemical techniques.