Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Biological Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

Anhong Zhou


Anhong Zhou


Ronald Sims


Yu Huang


Timothy Gilbertson


Kevin Moon


As life science advances, we are getting closer and closer to understanding the truth about life. Some specific cell types or molecules play a vital role in regulating routine functions of life. The imperceptible changes of these critical components can lead to serious diseases. Traditionally, histopathological techniques are widely employed to study and diagnose human diseases. However, these methods are time consuming and invasive. Herein, we introduce multiple types of biosensors that are sensitive, easy to use and most importantly non-invasive. First, I developed a smartphone based colorimetric sensor for detection of water hardness in a convenient way by introducing specific ionophore as sensing membrane, which was captured by a smartphone camera and analyzed by our developed application. Second, we used the Raman spectroscopy to sense the overall responses of human lung cell to air pollution particulate matters. The high dimensional Raman spectral data were analyzed by the advanced multivariate algorithms to achieve the definition of cell health status, and subsequently evaluated the protective effect of antioxidants to the damaged cells. Third, we detected the activity of ligand-receptor interaction on cell membranes. A gold nanoparticle was used to enhance the Raman signal and focus on the particular targeting molecules. Further, an imaging processing method was proposed to remove the non-specific binding and background signals, which can help to accurately quantity the expression level of membrane receptors at single cell level.



Available for download on Monday, December 01, 2025