This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Development of Smart Functional Surfaces for Biosensor Applications




Balasubramania, S. G.

Type of Degree



Materials Engineering


Biosensing platforms and antimicrobial coatings were developed to combat problems associated with infectious diseases. Particularly, a lytic bacteriophage based surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensor was developed to detect food borne pathogen Staphylococcus aureus (S.aureus) in real-time with high specificity. Lytic bacteriophages are naturally developed molecular probes that infect bacteria. They are environmentally stable and inexpensive to produce compared to commercially available antibodies. The sensitivity of SPR biosensors were further improved specifically by poly-L-lysine grafted polyethylene glycol (PLL-g-PEG) polymer. This polymer reduces non-specific adsorption of S.aureus on SPR gold surface by ~97%. When used as a blocking buffer in affinity sensing of model antigen, ß-galactosidase by filamentous bacteriophage, this polymer improved the detection sensitivity by 2 to 3 orders of magnitude. A facile approach was developed for sensor surface regeneration by controlling the immobilization and removal of antibodies from SPR gold surface. This was facilitated by the electro-reductive nature of alkanethiols. By combining SPR with electrochemical methods, the molecular assembly/disassembly processes were monitored in real-time with great control. Finally, single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) biocomposites were prepared using DNA and lysozyme (LSZ) to develop mechanically strong antimicrobial coatings. Coulombic interactions between DNA and LSZ were exploited to fabricate multilayer antimicrobial coatings using a technique called layer-by-layer assembly. This produced large scale biomimetic coatings with significant antimicrobial activity, high Young’s modulus and controlled morphology which combines the individual attributes of SWNTs and natural materials.