Photophysical approaches to sensing melanoma

  • Alastair Douglas Davy

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The spectroscopic/structure relationship of melanin is poorly understood which impedes the development of new biomaterials and skin cancer sensing techniques. Current methods for detecting melanoma ether lack the diagnostic capabilities or require high expense and training to use. There is a need for a melanoma diagnostic device that is both simple to use and cost-effective. The intrinsic response of eumelanin and pheomelanin with spectrophotometry, spectrofluorometry and time-correlated single photon counting were measured in order to investigate the photophysics of melanin and find a potential new technique for diagnosing melanoma that could be developed into a point-of-care device.;The optical and radiosensitising properties of gold nanorods make them attractive for biosensing applications. The toxicity of different gold nanorods, with alternative coatings, were investigated in order to establish their viability for development of a melanoma-specific biosensor. The results from the clonogenic toxicity assay and flow cytometry suggest that the gold nanorods induces long term damaging effects to the cells which hinder their viability as a biosensor.;The spectroscopic response of the sheet sensing fluorescent probe thioflavin T was measured during the formation of pheomelanin as the evidence for sheet formation in the red/yellow pigment is not as well established as the brown/black pigment, eumelanin. The increase of the dye molecule's fluorescence intensity provides strong evidence for the presence of sheet structures within pheomelanin and open up the potential use of extrinsic fluorophores as melanoma sensing probes. Successful implementation of extrinsic fluorophores could lead to investigating melanin's structure via super-resolution techniques.
Date of Award23 Aug 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsUniversity of Strathclyde
SupervisorDavid Birch (Supervisor)

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