Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering (MSChE)

Degree Level



Chemical Engineering


Shannon S. Servoss

Committee Member

Robert Beitle

Second Committee Member

Christa Hestekin

Third Committee Member

Julie Stenken

Fourth Committee Member

David Zaharoff


Pure sciences, Applied sciences, ELISA, Microarray, Peptoid, sefi-assembling molecules


Recent studies have shown microarrays to be indispensable for various biological applications, allowing for high-throughput processing and screening of biological samples such as RNA, DNA, proteins and peptides using a small sample volume (< 1 µL). Peptoids (poly-N-substituted glycine oligomers) can be used as a substitute for antibodies as capture molecules, as well as coatings for slides in antibody microarrays. The ease of synthesis of peptoids, high customizability with desired bioactivity, and speed of synthesis allows us to build a diagnostic system with a large dynamic range that can detect biomolecules from a minimal sample size. In this study, peptoid-based antibody mimics are designed to have both structural and functional features similar to those of antibodies, including a stable constant region (scaffolding) and a variable region for protein recognition. Peptoids previously screened via combinatorial library synthesis to be specific to bind Mdm-2 (mouse double minute 2 homolog) and GST (gluthathione S-transferase), have been synthesized. The protein recognition peptoids have been conjugated to PEG (polyethylene glycol) molecules with modified end groups; an amine group on one end that allows for immobilization and orientation on the slide, and an azide group on the other end that will allow for attachment to the peptoid through “click chemistry”. The number of capture molecules printed on the slides can be increased by making the available surface area of the slide larger via coating with microspheres. We have determined that partially water soluble peptoids that are also helical, can self-assemble into microspheres. Sequences have been developed that can consistently produce uniform microsphere coatings on slides that increase the overall surface area. A high surface area corresponds to a higher number of binding sites, and therefore a more sensitive system. The work done has shown that slides may be successfully coated in order to potentially improve the detection system.