Rapid Assessment Of Biological And Environmental Samples In Resource-Limited Settings Using Microwave-Accelerated Bioassay Technique
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Type of WorkText
ProgramDoctor of Philosophy
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Detection and quantification of analytes that are related to human health in biological and environmental samples have been the primary focus of scientists, health providers, and allied policy-makers for several decades. Most commercialized bioassays for the detection of pathogens or pollutants are carried out in controlled environments, hence, take long time to get results, and in most cases, have low sensitivities. In addition, current instrumentation used in pathogen detection is expensive to acquire and to maintain, require trained and certified personnel. In this work, we report the preparation and stability studies of next generation of bioassay platforms by surface modification of circular, poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) discs, paper and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) with nanoparticles (silver and indium tin oxide, ITO). The use of these bioassay platforms in combination with microwave heating (i.e., microwave-accelerated bioassays) have improved bioassay sensitivity, nanoparticle film stability, and reduced the colorimetric bioassay time for HRP-2 assay (used in malaria diagnosis) and colorimetric MC-LR bioassay (used in MC-LR toxin diagnosis) from 2 hours and 90 minutes at room temperature to 15 minutes under microwave heating. In addition, we have developed a MATLAB algorithm, and window and mobile-based applications, which can convert colored images of bioassays into numerical (pixel) values for rapid assessment of biological and environmental samples in resource-limited settings.