Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2016.



First Advisor

Steven Suljak


The objective of the project is to use aptamers, oligonucleotides designed to selectively bind target molecules, to develop a methodology for building an enzyme-linked aptasorbent assay (ELASA). This assay is designed to detect the presence of a target protein nucleolin that is overexpressed on the surface of cancer cells, and it would act as a novel diagnostic method for the disease. The success of our project would also confirm the feasibility of using an ELASA as a diagnostic tool to detect the presence of thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1), a protein known to experience glycosylation changes in human endometrioid ovarian cancer tissue. Our methodology will be based on that of existing ELASA “sandwich” type assays for analogous proteins, which incorporate the use of aptamers and antibodies. Aptamers offer inherent benefits over antibodies, which are the primary agents used in traditional enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA), while demonstrating comparable sensitivity. Our developed ELASA has the potential to be an innovative diagnostic tool that can improve disease prognosis due to its high sensitivity and low limits of detection as an analytical method.