Photochemical Sciences Ph.D. Dissertations


Design, Synthesis, and Application of Sensors for Biologically Relevant Molecules

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Photochemical Sciences

First Advisor

Pavel Anzenbacher, PhD

Second Advisor

George Bullerjahn, PhD (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Andrew Torelli, PhD (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Andrew Layden , PhD (Committee Member)


Nowadays, our society is facing numerous ecological, chemical, and medical challenges that could be met with new scientific discoveries. Among these scientific studies are the qualitative and quantitative analytical determinations of chemical and biological species associated with such challenges. Design and synthesis of chemical sensors capable of operating in a complex media are of crucial importance due to their potential application in the environmental and biological processes. Fluorescence based sensors are gaining wide popularity for chemical trace detection due to their high sensitivity and low cost. Chemical sensors that operate based on specific analyte-induced changes in fluorescence appear particularly attractive because they offer the potential for detecting low analyte concentrations. The present work describes the application of different types of fluorescence-based sensors designed to distinguish various structurally similar analytes, analyte mixtures as well as specific analytes in a complex media such as blood serum and urine. Here, we describe efficient methods for sensing several analytes of interest such as ovarian cancer biomarker, cancer associated nitrosamines, drug-related amines with potential for abuse and pyrophosphate in real-time PCR monitoring. Our work is a contribution to the development of practical laboratory procedures tackling challenges of our society.