Waseem Asghar

Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering


Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Samir M Iqbal


Nanobiotechnology and BioMEMS have had tremendous impact on biosensing in the areas of cancer cell detection and therapeutics, disease diagnostics, proteomics and DNA analysis. Diseases are expressed on all levels including DNA, protein, cell and tissue. Therefore it is very critical to develop biosensors at each level. The power of the nanotechnology lies in the fact that we can fabricate devices on all scales from micro to nano. This dissertation focuses on four areas: 1) Development of nanopore sensors for DNA analysis; 2) Development of micropore sensors for early detection of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from whole blood; 3) Synthesis of nano-textured substrates for cancer isolation and tissue culture applications; 4) Fabrication of nanoscale break-junctions. All of these sensors are fabricated using standard silicon processing techniques. Pulsed plasma polymer deposition is also utilized to control the density of the biosensor surface charges. These devices are then used for efficient detection of DNA, proteins and cells, and can be potentially used in point-of-care systems. Overall, our designed biosensing platforms offer improved selectivity, yield and reliability. Novel approaches to nanopore shrinking are simple, reliable and do not change the material composition around the pore boundary. The micropores provide a direct interface to distinguish CTCs from normal cell without requiring fluorescent dyes and surface functionalization. Nano-textured surfaces and break-junctions can be used for enhanced adhesion of cells and selective detection of proteins respectively.


Electrical and Computer Engineering | Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington