BME MS Defense: Christine Suss
The Synthesis and Characterization of a Bioresponsive Hydrogel to Improve Porous Silicon Sensor Technology
Supervised by Professor Lisa DeLouise
Porous silicon (PSi) optical sensors are known to detect proteins, oligonucleotides, enzymes, small molecules and gases by change in refractive index. Although these can be detected, in many cases a high resolution optical detector is needed to reveal their presence. A possible way to solve this problem is to integrate a bioresponsive hydrogel into the PSi sensors. That way, when a target molecule is applied to these hybrid sensors, the binding will cause the gel to break apart resulting in a change in refractive index. If the response is large enough, a color change will be produced and no external optical reader would be needed in the case of a screening test. This is advantageous for low-resource environments and point-of-care testing.
The focus here is on the synthesis and characterization of a bioresponsive hydrogel. The goal is to form a gel by cross-linking the polymer chains with multivalent antibodies with differing structure and valency. Different chemistries for attachment of the target analogue and multivalent antibodies to the polymer backbone are investigated to produce the perfect recipe to achieve this hybrid bioresponsive PSi sensor.