ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering


Electrical Engineering

First Advisor

Samir M Iqbal


Early detection of cancer can have immediate and significant impact on effective treatments for cancer patients and better disease prognosis. In the early stage of cancer, symptoms are initially expressed at molecular and cellular scales. Identification and capture of cancer cells can greatly advance cancer research. This research work is aimed to introduce novel biosensors and technologies for early cancer detection. We developed a one-step method to create nanotextured polymer substrates and showed the effect of surface nanotexture on cancer cell adhesion and cell surface interactions. The nanotextured surface was functionalized with an antibody to selectively capture cancer cells from a cell mixture. Nanotextured PDMS showed higher cell adhesion strength and enhanced cell capture. We also demonstrated a reversible sealed modular device approach to integrate nanotextured substrates into microfluidics for cell capture applications. The modular approach simplified cell capture workflow, provided easy assembly, and enabled a user-friendly method to access cells for post-capture analysis. We also observed that cancer cells showed distinct morphology on biofunctionalized surfaces. We developed a technique to quantify cell gestures using dynamic morphology from time-lapse optical micrographs of cells on functionalized surface. We used a supervised machine learning method to develop an automated system to identify cancer cells from their gestures. The system offered rapid, efficient, and novel identification of brain cancer cells and can be extended to classify many other types of tumor cells. Both of these detection mechanisms were based on the expression of protein biomarkers on the cell surface. A nanopore sensor is a unique platform for detecting protein biomarkers from ionic current signatures. The underlying mechanism of protein translocation through the nanopore is very difficult to understand from outside. We constructed a molecular dynamics model to simulate protein translocation through a nanopore to reveal the interatomic interactions and investigate the deformation mechanisms of thrombin inside a nanopore due to externally applied electric fields. We investigated the structural integrity of protein and its deformation dynamics inside a nanopore. The development of this technique has advanced nanopore research by providing insights about molecular level information to complement macroscopic measurements in the laboratory.


Nanotechnology, Biosensors, Cancer detection


Electrical and Computer Engineering | Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington