Alternate Author Name(s)

Kaylee Cappuccio

Author ORCID Identifier

Document Type


Date of Award



Paper substrates, Biosensor, Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, Gold nanoparticles, Wax printing, 4-mercaptobenzoic acid, SARS-CoV-2

Degree Name

Chemistry (BA, BS)



First Advisor

Dr. Chuan-Jian Zhong


Science and Mathematics

Subject Heading(s)

Nanocomposites (Materials); Biosensors; Raman spectroscopy; Paper; Diseases


Advancements in the field of analytical chemistry have greatly expanded the development of biosensors for the detection of a wide array of diseases. This study aims to optimize an affordable paper-based nanocomposite biosensor that utilizes surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). Specifically, it investigates the preparation parameters for a paper-based SERS substrate, including nanoparticle administration and drying procedures. A particular focus of this work is to assess how the wax-defined paper channels can effectively enhance SERS intensity. The results revealed that while the wax-printed wells can define the nanoparticle administration for SERS detection, wax backing may reduce the sensitivity of SERS by preventing two-directional solution drying, promoting a non-uniform distribution of nanoparticles on paper substrates. The limit of detection in terms of the number of nanoparticles within the paper-based SERS platform was determined, showing a limit of detection of 0.02% of a theoretical monolayer of gold nanoparticles. These findings, along with preliminary on-going work, suggest that this platform can be expanded with the use of click chemistry for the development of highly sensitive paper-based microfluidic SERS biosensors for the detection of biomarkers in various diseases, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

Previous Versions

May 17 2022 (withdrawn)

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