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Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

First Advisor

Chang K Choi


This study develops an automated analysis tool by combining total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM), an evanescent wave microscopic imaging technique to capture time-sequential images and the corresponding image processing Matlab code to identify movements of single individual particles. The developed code will enable us to examine two dimensional hindered tangential Brownian motion of nanoparticles with a sub-pixel resolution (nanoscale). The measured mean square displacements of nanoparticles are compared with theoretical predictions to estimate particle diameters and fluid viscosity using a nonlinear regression technique. These estimated values will be confirmed by the diameters and viscosities given by manufacturers to validate this analysis tool. Nano-particles used in these experiments are yellow-green polystyrene fluorescent nanospheres (200 nm, 500 nm and 1000 nm in diameter (nominal); 505 nm excitation and 515 nm emission wavelengths). Solutions used in this experiment are de-ionized (DI) water, 10% d-glucose and 10% glycerol. Mean square displacements obtained near the surface shows significant deviation from theoretical predictions which are attributed to DLVO forces in the region but it conforms to theoretical predictions after ~125 nm onwards. The proposed automation analysis tool will be powerfully employed in the bio-application fields needed for examination of single protein (DNA and/or vesicle) tracking, drug delivery, and cyto-toxicity unlike the traditional measurement techniques that require fixing the cells. Furthermore, this tool can be also usefully applied for the microfluidic areas of non-invasive thermometry, particle tracking velocimetry (PTV), and non-invasive viscometry.