Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 1-1-2016


One-year Embargo

Submission Type


Degree Name



Chemistry and Biochemistry


Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Committee Chair

Michael Cascio

Committee Member

Stephanie Wetzel

Committee Member

Partha Basu

Committee Member

David Gallaher


Chromatography, Fluorescence, Lab on a Chip, Laser Induced Fluorescence, Microfluidics, Primary Fatty Acid Amide


The field of lipidomics encompasses the study of pathways, networks, and functionality of cellular lipids in biological systems. The lipid subclass, primary fatty acid amides, are crucial to nervous system signaling, receptor function, and numerous other physiological roles. Chapter 1 details these bioactive properties of several well-studied primary fatty acid amides as well as their biosynthesis, degradation, and most common analysis techniques. As these bioactive lipids are endogenously present in trace and ultra-trace abundancies, the field of microfluidics presents an attractive alternative analysis system to incorporate minimization of sample and reagent usage, analysis cost reduction, highly sensitive detection pairing, and decreased analysis time, all while limiting sample handling. Chapter 2 provides a microfluidics-based review of common device fabrication techniques, droplet microfluidics, and detection systems. Current primary fatty acid amide analysis techniques have detection limits on the periphery of endogenous concentrations, presenting the need for a more sensitive detection system, such as fluorescence. Chapter 3 serves as the foundation in developing methodology to analyze these amides and their conjugate fluorescently-tagged primary amines. Chapter 4 focuses on the development of a microfluidic platform capable of efficient on-chip fluorescent tagging reactions and the coupling of a highly sensitive laser induced fluorescence detection system capable of detection limits several orders of magnitude lower than currently employed mass spectrometry techniques. In addition, the appendix details the method development for the quantitative analysis of the anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer drug, celecoxib, uptake into novel drug delivery vehicles.