Small Molecule Detection by Surface Plasmon Resonance

School of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering
PhD Oral Defense
Small Molecule Detection by Surface Plasmon Resonance:
Improvements in Sensitivity and Kinetic Measurement
Christopher Assiff MacGriff
October 7, 2013
Dr. Nongjian Tao, Chair
Dr. Shaopeng Wang
Dr. Joshua LaBaer
Dr. Junseok Chae
An increasingly sophisticated understanding of complex biological processes
requires equally advanced analytical tools for use in clinical diagnosis, pharmaceutical
drug discovery, and fundamental scientific research.
To this end, surface plasmon
resonance (SPR) has emerged as a popular technique for elucidating subtle signals from
biological events in a label-free, high throughput environment. Two major applications
of SPR sensors include molecular detection and biological affinity measurement.
The following work seeks to advance the current SPR sensor paradigm for the
purpose of small molecule detection. The detection limits of two orthogonal components
of conventional SPR measurement are targeted: speed and sensitivity. In the context of
this report, speed refers to the dynamic range of extracted kinetic rate constants, while
sensitivity refers to the mass limitation of conventional SPR measurement.
microfluidic delivery system is developed to increase the current range of kinetic
analyses from kd < 1 s-1 to kd < 130 s-1, and the latter obstacle is circumvented by a novel
Plasmonic-based Electrochemical Microscopy (P-EIM) technique that clearly resolves
small molecules with molecular weight of < 60 Da.