Date of Completion


Embargo Period



bioanalytical chemistry, L-selectin, bladder cancer, immunoarray, inkjet printing, OPT, nano-materials

Major Advisor

Dr. James F. Rusling

Associate Advisor

Dr. Dharamainder Choudhary

Associate Advisor

Dr. Jing Zhao

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


Nanoparticle enabled technology continues to attract heavy research interest and is increasingly used in many industries, including drug and medical device design. The research presented here focuses on applications of nano-materials in biomarker discovery and thin film sensors. In the first part, L-selectin (CD62L) protein is evaluated in bladder cancer patients as a possible biomarker for diagnosis and staging of the disease. The latter part employs inkjet printed nano-materials as QR codes for anti-counterfeiting applications. Additionally, an electrochemical sensor and a multi-well catalysis reactor are proposed, both incorporating inkjet printed nano-materials.

Bladder cancer, while predominantly diagnosed at an early stage, has < 6% five‑year survival rate when metastasized. Current FDA approved biomarker tests alone are unreliable for diagnosis. L-selectin, previously implicated as a biomarker, is quantified in human serum of bladder cancer patients, using semi-automated in-house microfluidic system with a bead-based electrochemical immunoassay. Calibration and good recovery is established for the immunoarray. Comparison to ELISA test reveals systemic errors in ELISA at low and high concentrations of the protein. Correlation of CD62L concentration in serum of cancer-free controls and bladder cancer patient with varying stages of the disease yields preliminary positive correlation. All cancer patients have high soluble CD62L concentration compared to healthy cancer-free controls. Additionally, both ELISA and the new immunoarray can successfully differentiate low-grade and high-grade bladder cancer tumors.

In the latter half of this thesis, zinc oxide nanoparticles are inkjet printed as a Quick Response code (QR code) on aluminum-coated integrated circuits. These optical phase tags provide improved anti-counterfeiting measures by adding a unique optical signature as an additional detection method. Compared to conventional barcodes and QR codes, zinc oxide material can be characterized with polarimetry and speckle pattern for analysis of material composition and surface roughness. These analytical tests are able to differentiate true and false class optical phase tags, even when minor non-compliance with the fabrication method is observed. Zinc oxide is doped with copper and nickel ions and 2D and 3D quilt patterns of these QR codes are also inkjet printed for heightened security features.