Date of Award

8-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Bioengineering

Advisor

Vertegel, Alexey

Committee Member

Kornev , Konstantin

Committee Member

Simionescu , Agneta

Abstract

Early diagnosis of conditions allows for physicians to treat patients earlier, and ultimately improve patient outcomes. Two conditions of particular interest for earlier and cheaper diagnosis are the influenza virus and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Antiviral treatment administered within the first 48 hours of influenza infection decreases symptom severity, risk of complications, and reduced healthcare costs. Early diagnosis of HIV can decrease the risk of transmission of the virus to HIV negative individuals and allow for earlier administration of highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART), improving patient quality of life and patient outcomes.
Currently, the 'gold standard' for detection of both Influenza and HIV are tests performed in a clinical laboratory setting. There are rapid diagnostic tests that can be performed at the point-of-care or an in-home setting, but these tests have their limitations. This study aims to develop a highly sensitive, nanofiber-based immunochromatography assay for the detection of such conditions at the point-of-care or an in-home setting. Electrospun CA/PMMA/PEO nanofiber yarns were prepared and shown to be a viable substrate for antibody attachment and detection of conditions. Colloidal gold-labeled antibodies were prepared to detect analyte in a solution, allowing for detection of an analyte visible to the naked eye. Furthermore, several immunoassay systems were successfully developed using each of these components. These immunoassay systems have potential for employment either at the point-of-care or as in-home diagnostic tools to allow for earlier diagnosis.

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