Document Type

Student Research Paper


Spring 2019

Academic Department

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Faculty Advisor(s)

Thomas E. Hagan, Jr.


Heavy metal contamination is one of the main issues preventing people from accessing drinkable water in developing countries. Current methods of metal detection require a highly trained user and do not allow for quick and inexpensive testing in low-resource regions. This project seeks to integrate metal sensitive dyemodified polymer nanoparticles into a lateral flow assay design to develop a lowcost water quality test. Specifically, a control nanoparticle was developed using a pH-sensitive fluorescein dye derivative. The dye was covalently bound to poly(acrylic acid) by an amide linkage, and nanoparticles were formed by a microemulsion technique. The pH response of various nanoparticles was characterized by fluorescence and absorption spectroscopy, and as expected, the signal intensity increased with basicity. This fluorescein-poly(acrylic acid) nanoparticle will be used to indicate that a lateral flow test result is valid.


Senior thesis.

Included in

Chemistry Commons