Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biomedical Engineering

Major Professor

Zhili Zhang

Committee Members

Xiaopeng Zhao, Mingjun Zhang


Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) is an optical technique used for the visualization of fluid flow. PIV can be combined with other techniques to enhance the analysis of fluid flow. A novel far-field plasmonic resonance enhanced nanoparticle-seeded Particle Image Velocimetry (nPIV) has been demonstrated to measure the velocity in a micro channel. Chemically synthesized silver nanoparticles have been used to seed the flow. By using Discrete Dipole Approximation (DDA), plasmonic resonance enhanced light scattering has been calculated for spherical silver nanoparticles with diameters ranging from 15 nm to 200 nm in two media: water and air. The diffraction-limited plasmonic resonance enhanced images of silver nanoparticles at different diameters have been recorded. By using standard PIV techniques, the velocity within the micro channel has been determined from the images collected.

The plasmonic resonance effects of nanoparticles from different media as compared to metal nanoparticles are also examined. Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance (LSPR) effects by naturally occurring Chinese yam particles are observed and quantified. Chinese yam particles are found by an atomic force microscope and a high-speed optical dark-field microscope. The particles with diameters greater than 200 nm are found to contribute most to UV-Vis absorption. LSPR effects of silver nanoparticles by the Chinese yam particles lead to the red shift of the extinction peaks of the silver nanoparticles. The wavelength shifts are quantitatively predicted based on DDA of the LSPR effects, which are sensitive to the local dielectric constant changed by the Chinese yam particles. This finding may open a new avenue to detect the biological sub-micron particles or virus in solution.

PIV gives a new perspective on fluid flow that is otherwise difficult to see. An application of PIV studying the flagella movement of Giardia Lamblis trophozoites is examined. Standard PIV techniques are employed using a combination of high-contrast CytoViva ® imaging system to capture the images at high speeds and the Insight 3G software to measure the speed and direction of fluid motion generated by the microscale flagella. The PIV images illustrate how the flagella of the Giardia interact with each other and how they move in their environment.

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