Application of enzymatic catalysis and galvanic processes for biosensor development




Zaccheo, Brian Andrew

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Methods for integrating enzyme systems with electrochemical reactions having applications to diagnostic sensing are described. Diagnostic tests that include biological molecules can be classified as biosensors. Existing testing methods often require trained technicians to perform, and laboratory settings with complex infrastructure. The theme of this dissertation is the development of methods that are faster, easier to use, and more applicable for non-laboratory environments. These goals are accomplished in systems using enzymatic catalysis and galvanic processes. Two biosensors with specific model pathologies have been designed and demonstrated in this study. The first assay senses a DNA fragment representing the Epstein Barr virus and uses enzyme-mediated Ag deposition over a v microfabricated chip. The chip contains a specially designed pair of electrodes in an interdigitated array (IDA). Detection is signaled by a change in the resistance between the two electrodes. The second biosensor discussed in this study is targeted towards the digestive enzyme trypsin. It is selfpowered due to its construction within an open-circuit galvanic cell. In this system, a small volume of blood serum is introduced onto the device over barriers made of protein and Al that block the anode from solution. In the presence of trypsin, the protein gel is rendered more permeable to sodium hydroxide. Adding hydroxide initiates the dissolution of the Al layer, closing the cell circuit and illuminating a light-emitting diode (LED). A relationship was observed between LED illumination time and trypsin concentration. Biosensors that utilize enzymes to generate or amplify a detectable signal are widely used, and the final project of this study uses a nanoparticle based approach to protect the catalytic activity of alkaline phosphatase (AlkP) from hostile chemicals. By incubating Au colloid with AlkP overnight and adding Ag+, core@shell nanoparticles of Au@Ag2O can be isolated that show AlkP activity. The resulting enzyme-metal composite material was analytically characterized and demonstrated greater activity in the presence of organic inhibitors relative to either wild type vi or Au colloid-associated AlkP without the Ag2O shell. The stabilization procedure is complete in one day using a onepot synthesis. This method may provide opportunities to carry out biosensing chemistry in previously incompatible chemical environments.




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