First Advisor

Robert M. Strongin

Date of Publication

Fall 12-1-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Chemistry






Thiols -- Analysis, Biochemical markers -- Diagnostic use, Homocysteine -- Research, Fluorescent probes -- Diagnostic use



Physical Description

1 online resource (xiv, 137 pages)


The most abundant biological thiols, homocysteine (Hcy), cysteine (Cys) and glutathione (GSH) have been the subject of intense research due to their association with a wide range of diseases. They play a key role in maintaining the redox status of biological systems. Selective detection methods for these thiols are challenging due to their similar structures and properties. Current commercially available detection methods use separations, fragile and expensive enzymatic or immunogenic materials and complex instrumentation. This has led to a global effort towards developing simple and inexpensive optical probes and indicators selective for specific biological thiols.

Highly selective chemical probes and simple methods for detection and potential quantification of Hcy and GSH in their natural biological media have been developed. These indicators and methods are relatively simple and inexpensive for potential application at point of care. The selective detection of Hcy using novel asymmetric viologen chemical probes at room temperature is described as well as the use of commercially available materials under photochemical conditions. These probes respond linearly proportional to increasing Hcy concentrations, potentially enabling the monitoring of Hcy levels in human plasma. Additionally, new methods for the selective determination of GSH in human plasma, as well as its quantification in whole blood deposited on filter paper (dried blood spots), is also presented herein.


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