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Title: Fabrication of graphene based aptasensors for early detection of prostate cancer by experimental and computational techniques
Authors: Putri, Athika Darumas 
Issue Date: 2017
High prevalence and mortality cases of prostate cancer (PCa) have increased around the world, particularly in developing countries. Several forthcoming factors have been revealed nowadays, one of them is due to the incapability of the diagnostic methods to produce reliable results, which impacts negatively on cancer-treatment. However, a sensitive diagnosis of PCa cells remains a challenge in the field of biosensors. Emerging whole-cell detection as biosensing targets has opened up avenues for successful cancer diagnostics, due to high selectivity among other cells. A switchable and flexible surface-based graphene material is one of the techniques that revolutionized smart biodevice platforms in biosensor technology. In this present study, a covalently linked poly-(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) to graphene oxide surface has been employed as “on/off”-switchable aptamer-based sensor for the detection of PC3 whole-cancer cell. The constructed surface has benefitted from PNIPAM, as the thermal-stimulus agent, which allows the coil-to-globule transitions by triggering temperature changes. When the system is above its lower critical solution temperature (LCST) of 32oC, PNIPAM will exist as hydrophobic -globular state providing an “on” binding region for the whole-cell, reaching the interactions on the biosurface. The “off” binding systems is only possibly when the PNIPAM turns into extended-state by lowering its temperature below LCST. The first principle studies have successfully characterized the electronic behavior with particular emphasis of PNIPAM monomer functions along with the description of the structural energetics of complex through density functional theory (DFT). Docking studies have further been performed to predict a plausible binding aptamer toward the protein-representative PCa cell. To better understand the prospect of an aptamer-based tunable biosensor, molecular dynamics (MD) highlighted the behavior of PNIPAM-grafted GO in exhibiting a globular and extended conformations at above and below LCST, permitting the biomolecules to interact with each other as well as to avoid interactions, respectively. Experimental studies have been included to validate the theoretical predictions by fabricating real-biosensor systems using electrochemical impedance technique, resulting a low-detection limit down to 14 cells/mL. Engagement between theoretical and experimental studies delivered an enhanced tunable-biosensor performance for the detection of whole cell prostate cancer.
Submitted in fulfilment of the requirements of the Degree in Chemistry, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2017.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Applied Sciences)

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