Date of Award

Fall 2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Micro and Nanoscale Systems

First Advisor

Mark A. DeCoster


Fluid handling at the microscale has greatly affected different fields such as biomedical, pharmaceutical, biochemical engineering and environmental monitoring due to its reduced reagent consumption, portability, high throughput, lower hardware cost and shorter analysis time compared to large devices. The challenges associated with mixing of fluids in microscale enabled us in designing, simulating, fabricating and characterizing various micromixers on silicon and flexible polyester substrates. The mixing efficiency was evaluated by injecting the fluids through the two inlets and collecting the sample at outlet. The images collected from the microscope were analyzed, and the absorbance of the color product at the outlet was measured to quantify the mixing efficacy. A mixing efficiency of 96% was achieved using a flexible disposable micromixer.

The potential for low-cost processing and the device response tuning using chemical doping or synthesis opened doorways to use organic semiconductor devices as transducers in chemical and biological sensor applications. A simple, inexpensive organic electrochemical transistor (OECT) based on conducting polymer poly(3,4- ethyelenedioxythiphene) poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) was fabricated using a novel one step fabrication method. The developed transistor was used as a biosensor to detect glucose and glutamate. The developed glucose sensor showed a linear response for the glucose levels ranging from 1 μM-10 mM and showed a decent response for the glucose levels similar to those found in human saliva and to detect glutamate released from brain tumor cells. The developed glutamate sensor was used to detect the glutamate released from astrocytes and glioma cells after stimulation, and the results are compared with fluorescent spectrophotometer. The developed sensors employ simple fabrication, operate at low potentials, utilize lower enzyme concentrations, do not employ enzyme immobilization techniques, require only 5 μL of both enzyme and sample to be tested and show a stable response for a wide pH ranging from 4 to 9.