Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Marc D. Porter


This work describes several research efforts that lie at the new interfaces between analytical chemistry and other disciplines, namely materials science and biology. In the materials science realm, the search for new materials that may have useful or unique chromatographic properties motivated the synthesis and characterization of electrically conductive sol-gels. In the biology realm, the search for new surface fabrication schemes that would permit or even improve the detection of specific biological reactions motivated the design of miniaturized biological arrays. Collectively, this work represents some of analytical chemistry's newest forays into these disciplines;This dissertation is divided into six chapters. Chapter 1 is an introductory chapter that provides background information pertinent to several key aspects of the work contained in this dissertation. Chapter 2 describes the synthesis and characterization of electrically conductive sol-gels derived from the acid-catalyzed hydrolysis of a vanadium alkoxide. Specifically, this chapter describes our attempts to increase the conductivity of vanadium sol-gels by optimizing the acidic and drying conditions used during synthesis. Chapter 3 reports the construction of novel antigenic immunosensing platforms of increased epitope density using Fab'-SH antibody fragments on gold. Here, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), thin-layer cell (TLC) and confocal fluorescence spectroscopies, and scanning force microscopy (SFM) are employed to characterize the fragment-substrate interaction, to quantify epitope density, and to demonstrate fragment viability and specificity. Chapter 4 presents a novel method for creating and interrogating double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) microarrays suitable for screening protein:dsDNA interactions. Using the restriction enzyme ECoR1, we demonstrate the ability of the atomic force microscope (AFM) to detect changes in topography that result from the enzymatic cleavage of dsDNA microarrays containing the correct recognition sequence. Chapter 5 explores more fully the microarray fabrication process described in Chapter 4. Specifically, experiments characterizing the effect of deposition conditions on oligonucleotide topography and as well as those that describe array density optimization are presented. Chapter 6 presents general conclusions from the work recorded in this dissertation and speculates on its extension.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Janese Christine O'Brien



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

119 pages