Chi TangFollow

Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Immunoassay, electrochemical, cancer, biomarkers, chemiluminescence, biosensor

Major Advisor

James F. Rusling

Associate Advisor

Challa V. Kumar

Associate Advisor

Jie He

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Campus Access


Cancer, an incurable disease that has caused pain and suffering to many patients, is the a leading cause of death in the U.S. second only to heart disease. Although significant research efforts are spent toward cancer therapeutics and treatments, it remains mostly incurable, with the exception of breast cancer. With early detection through the means of annual mammograms, breast cancers are usually caught in the earlier stage and thus improving overall prognosis of the disease. Unfortunately, same cannot be said for other type of cancers in which small solid tumors are difficult to find through current imaging techniques such as MRI or CT scan. In additional, these annual screening using MRI or CT scan are too expensive to be effective and would place significant burden on the current healthcare system.

Alternative methods that measure elevated or suppressed level of secreted proteins are promising for cancer diagnosis and may allow early detection, as well as providing the ability to stage the disease so that patients can receive personalized therapy for better treatment outcome. With recent federal government initiatives in “Precision Medicine” and “Moonshot” recently announced in President Obama’s 2016 State of Union address, the collection of millions of patient data including levels of secreted proteins will give researchers the ability design detection strategies that tailors to different class of patients as defined by their genetics, daily activities, diets, and etc...

The primary goals of this thesis are to develop inexpensive diagnostic tools that can measure panels of proteins in serum samples. These devices will be designed to cater towards different usage situations and resource settings. This thesis also explores and describes different low cost device fabrication techniques that can be used in general laboratory settings, many of which were developed in our lab. By combing these cheaply, yet sophisticated devices with either electrochemical or chemiluminescent detection methods, these devices hold great promise as accurate and sensitive cancer diagnostic tools in clinical settings.