Electrical & Computer Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version

Summer 5-20-2015


Sayood, S. A Stand-Alone DNA Hybridization Detection System. 2015.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Electrical Engineering, Under the Supervision of Professor Sina Balkir. Lincoln, Nebraska: August, 2015

Copyright (c) 2015 Sinan Sayood


The goal of this project was to design a portable device that can quickly and accurately detect the difference between single and double stranded DNA. This was accomplished by analyzing the capacitive properties of DNA solutions and implementing a charge-based capacitive monitoring system to detect and analyze the solutions. The detection system was designed without reliance on expensive functionalized electrodes, and instead is able to detect the properties of free- oating DNA. This approach greatly reduces the cost of the materials needed to construct the device. It also decouples the main sensor apparatus from the bulk of the electronics, reducing the quantity of electronic devices needed and increasing their overall reusability. The designed system is shown to be able to reliably distinguish between single-stranded, hybridized, and partially-hybridized DNA molecules in solution. Over the course of this project, three design iterations were created. Several test setups and experimental protocols were also designed and implemented. The designs, setups, protocols, and their subsequent results are presented.

Advisor: Sina Balkir