Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Chemistry (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Roger M. Leblanc

Second Committee Member

Françisco M. Raymo

Third Committee Member

Jamie D. Walls

Fourth Committee Member

Yidong Yang


Nature materials achieve structural complexity by inducing a network of molecules into forming elaborate hierarchical nanostructures. The efficiency of organizing these assembly processes in respond to the structure changes demonstrates certain cellular functions. However, attempts to explore the assembly of natural or non-biological materials to help design a better system in the application of drug discovery and biosensing nanotechnology still remain a major challenge. The aims of the research are to develop new class of materials, examine their role on inducing biomaterials assembly to form hierarchical structures, and to utilized their emergent properties for the new design of a biocompatible system. Amyloid-β peptides (Aβ) fibrillation is pathologically associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), resulting in the development of Aβ inhibitor essential for the treatment of AD. To this end, my research focused on the discovery of potential agents, including resorcinarene and carbon dots, to help redirect the nature assembly of Aβ. Different experimental and computational methods were examined, and these studies demonstrate not only clues to understanding interactions involved in Aβ fibrillation, also a novel strategy for the discovery of novel antiamyloidogenic agents for AD treatments. Another topic of this thesis is to mimic the nature assembly to design a system for diagnostic detection. Currently, different diseases and cancers are costly and require complicated analysis methods, such as ultrasound (US), computerized tomography (CT) scan, electrocardiography (ECG), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). What’s worse, these strategies often delay timely treatment, and most diseases and cancers happen without any symptoms. Thus, it is essential that new techniques be implemented for parallel detection of several diseases at the same time to expedite clinical treatments. To this end, the binding of antibody with antigen was performed based on the localized surface plasmon resonance. The assembly of the antibody with the antigen successfully provides an excellent platform for the biosensing. This study may also help lead to breakthroughs in the sensing nanotechnology and future clinical use.


Assembly; Protein; Fibrillation; Biosensing