Development of low-cost sensing and separation devices based on macro, micro and nano technology for health applications

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Crowley, Una Bernadette
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University College Cork
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The work presented in this thesis described the development of low-cost sensing and separation devices with electrochemical detections for health applications. This research employs macro, micro and nano technology. The first sensing device developed was a tonerbased micro-device. The initial development of microfluidic devices was based on glass or quartz devices that are often expensive to fabricate; however, the introduction of new types of materials, such as plastics, offered a new way for fast prototyping and the development of disposable devices. One such microfluidic device is based on the lamination of laser-printed polyester films using a computer, printer and laminator. The resulting toner-based microchips demonstrated a potential viability for chemical assays, coupled with several detection methods, particularly Chip-Electrophoresis-Chemiluminescence (CE-CL) detection which has never been reported in the literature. Following on from the toner-based microchip, a three-electrode micro-configuration was developed on acetate substrate. This is the first time that a micro-electrode configuration made from gold; silver and platinum have been fabricated onto acetate by means of patterning and deposition techniques using the central fabrication facilities in Tyndall National Institute. These electrodes have been designed to facilitate the integration of a 3- electrode configuration as part of the fabrication process. Since the electrodes are on acetate the dicing step can automatically be eliminated. The stability of these sensors has been investigated using electrochemical techniques with excellent outcomes. Following on from the generalised testing of the electrodes these sensors were then coupled with capillary electrophoresis. The final sensing devices were on a macro scale and involved the modifications of screenprinted electrodes. Screen-printed electrodes (SPE) are generally seen to be far less sensitive than the more expensive electrodes including the gold, boron-doped diamond and glassy carbon electrodes. To enhance the sensitivity of these electrodes they were treated with metal nano-particles, gold and palladium. Following on from this, another modification was introduced. The carbonaceous material carbon monolith was drop-cast onto the SPE and then the metal nano-particles were electrodeposited onto the monolith material
Electrochemistry , Chemiluminescence , Toner-based microchips , Acetate microelectrode configuration , Modified screen-printed electrodes , Carbon monolith material , Metal nanoparticles
Crowley, U. B. 2014. Development of low-cost sensing and separation devices based on macro, micro and nano technology for health applications. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.