Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Nicole McFarlane

Committee Members

Gong Gu, Syed Islam


Standard biological assays are time consuming, occur at the end of an experiment, use bulky and expensive equipment and require skilled expertise. Lab on chip instruments seek to miniaturize these systems, improve ease of use and lower costs while offering real time measurements and accuracy. We have developed an electrical cell-substrate impedance sensing system using vertically aligned carbon nanofibers. The system is able to sense and measure biological cells’ impedance in real time. By using carbon nanofiber arrays, the system is able to offer more sensitive measurements compared with traditional coplanar electrodes. This is the first demonstration of using vertically aligned carbon nanofibers (VACNF) to observe changes in cellular impedance. This work is not only an improvement over existing cell substrate impedance measurement systems, but also is an extension of carbon nanofiber application creating a new possibility for using VACNF in the bio-sensing area. At the same time, by using carbon nanofiber arrays, we have enhanced the possibility for integration of measurement system as a lab on chip system.

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