Date of Graduation


Document Type

UAF Access Only - Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering (PhD)

Degree Level



Biomedical Engineering


Timothy J. Muldoon

Committee Member

Jeffrey C. Wolchok

Second Committee Member

David A. Zaharoff

Third Committee Member

Jingyi Chen


acridine orange, imaging spectroscopy, point-of-care, three-part leukocyte differential, urinalysis


Infectious diseases are a worldwide issue where the elderly, children, hospitalized patients, and people with autoimmune diseases are the most vulnerable. In the United States alone, 16.8 million physician office visits between 2011 and 2015 were for infections and parasitic diseases. Infectious diseases are diagnosed using clinical laboratory tests, and their results are also used to guide treatment. When laboratory tests are unavailable, such as in rural clinics or developing countries, over or under treatment can occur, resulting in death caused by sepsis or antimicrobial resistance, such as MRSA. Unfortunately, devices used for these clinical laboratory tests can range in the thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars, preventing access to these low-income communities.

Point-of-care (POC) testing has aimed to improve accessibility either at the patient’s bedside or near the patient during their visit to the clinic by reducing overall and per patient cost, limiting the device size to tabletop or handheld, and designing devices to be operable by untrained users. With advances in optical and digital technologies, POC systems are being designed to be image-based where images are captured, in some cases by a smart phone, and can be reviewed remotely. This has also allowed for more fluorescent dyes to be used, which has the advantage of greater brightness/color intensity that can improve visualization both manually and digitally/automated. Acridine-derived dyes are making a comeback due to these advances and are being explore as a contrast agent for laboratory tests that involve the enumeration of nucleated cells. Specifically, the use of acridine orange (AO) in relation to POC devices will be evaluated for a three-part leukocyte differential test and urinalysis, where both involve nucleated cells.

Available for download on Thursday, August 05, 2021