Design and verification of a surface plasmon resonance biosensor

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Sommers, Daniel R.
Hunt, William D.
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The Microelectronics Group has been researching sensors useful for detecting and quantifying events in biological molecular chemistry, for example, binding events. Our previous research has been based primarily on quartz resonators. This thesis describes the results of our initial research of Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) based technology. This study contains the design and implementation of a fully functional SPR biosensor with detailed disclosure of monolayer construction, digital hardware interfaces and software algorithms for process the SPR sensors output. An antibody monolayer was constructed on the biosensor surface with the goal of setting the strengths, weaknesses and limitation of measuring molecular events with SPR technology. We documented several characteristics of molecular chemistry that directly effect any measurements made using Surface Plasmon Resonance technology including pH, free ions, viscosity and temperature. Furthermore, the component used in our study introduced additional limitations due to wide variations amongst parts, the constraint of a liquid medium and the large surface area used for molecular interrogation. We have identified viable applications for this sensor by either eliminating or compensating for the factors that affect the measured results. This research has been published at the inaugural IEEE sensors conference and to our knowledge is the first time a biosensor has been constructed by attaching a sensor to a PDA and performing all signal processing, waveform analysis and display in the PDAs core processor.
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