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ECE PhD Dissertation Defense: Shadi Emam

February 18, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

PhD Dissertation Defense: Devices and Methods for Diagnosis from Exhaled Breath

Shadi Emam

Location: 325 DA

Abstract: A novel electrochemical gas sensor was developed with a variety of applications. The sensor is composed of four layers: Silicon substrate, Chromium, Graphene-Prussian blue, and molecularly imprinting polymer (MIP). Molecular imprinting technology is a technique to polymerize around a template molecule. Subsequent removal of the template molecule leaves cavities in the polymer matrix with an affinity for a chosen template molecule. The sensor was applied toward the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease first. Three sensors were fabricated to detect three biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease in the exhaled breath. The sensors were tested against three cohorts of rats: young healthy control, old on high fat/high sugar diet and, old on high fat/high sugar with Alzheimer’s human gene APOE4. The sensor only detected the 3 biomarkers from the exhaled breath of the rats from the last cohort. The MRI results of the rats’ brain also confirmed the sensors readings. The sensors were then applied toward the diagnosis of lung cancer at an early stage and detection of controlled substances in the air/exhaled breath/body fluid. Recently, sensors were fabricated and tested to detest SARS-CoV-2. With some modification to the basic and structure of the sensors, 3 generations of SARS-CoV-2 sensors were developed and tested. The second generation was developed in order to enhance the sensitivity of the sensors. By proper functionalization of the graphene layer, the sensitivity of the sensors increased 80,000 times. The third generation of the sensors was fabricated with the goal of selectivity and using functional monomers. These sensors were tested against bovine serum albumin (BSA), water, phosphate buffer solution (PBS), the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Ebola, and flu virus. The third generation of sensors is highly selective and consistent compared to the previous generation. While the first generation sensor was 37.5% selective and 61% sensitive, the third generation sensor was 75% selective and 80% selective.



February 18, 2021
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Electrical and Computer Engineering
MS/PhD Thesis Defense