Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Increasing the information content obtainable from a single assay and system miniaturization has continued to be important research areas in analytical chemistry. The research presented in this dissertation involves the development of a two-color, time-resolved fluorescence microscope for the acquisition of both steady-state and time-resolved data during capillary and microchip electrophoresis. The utility of this hybrid fluorescence detector has been demonstrated by applying it to DNA sequencing applications. Coupling color discrimination with time-resolved fluorescence offers increased multiplexing capabilities because the lifetime data adds another layer of information. An optical fiber-based fluorescence microscope was constructed, which utilized fluorescence in near-IR region, greatly simplifying the hardware and allowing superior system sensitivity. Time-resolved data was processed using electronics configured in a time-correlated single photon counting format. Cross-talk between color channels was successfully eliminated by utilizing the intrinsic time-resolved capability associated with the detector. The two-color, time-resolved microscope was first coupled to a single capillary and carried out two-color, two-lifetime sequencing of an M13 template, achieving a read length of 650 bps at a calling accuracy of 95.1%. The feasibility of using this microscope with microchips (glass-based chips) for sequencing was then demonstrated. Results from capillaries and microchips were compared, with the microchips providing faster analysis and adequate electrophoretic performance. Lifetimes of a set of fluorescent dyes were determined with favorable precision, in spite of the low loading levels associated with the microchips. The sequencing products were required to be purified and concentrated prior to electrophoretic sorting to improve data quality. PMMA-based microchips for DNA sequencing application were evaluated. The microchips were produced from thermo plastics, which allowed rapid and inexpensive production of microstructures with high aspect ratios. It was concluded that surface coating was needed on the polymer chips in order to achieve single-base resolution required for DNA sequencing. The capability of the two-color time-resolved microscope operated in a scanning mode was further explored. The successful construction of the scanner allows scanning of multi-channel microchips for high throughput processing.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Steven A. Soper



Included in

Chemistry Commons