Chemiluminescence is the light emission from a chemical reaction. The excited state is accessed in the course of a chemical reaction and relaxes to the ground state with the emission of a photon. Independence from the need for light excitation gives chemiluminescence several advantages over fluorescence including better signal-to-noise ratio and reduced background at deeper tissue imaging depth. As a result, the sensitivity of chemiluminescent probes for biological analyte detection has been improved significantly. Because of the sensitivity of chemiluminescent probes, we are planning to use this technique to quantify important factors for biological activities.

In this dissertation, two quantification methods to study biological activities will be introduced in detail. The first one is a pH quantification system based on a pH sensitive chemiluminescent system. In aqueous solution, the light emission from the chemiluminescent probe will transfer to a ratiometric pH sensitive dye caboxy-SNARF-1 in the presence of a commercially available enhancer. By plotting out the light emission ratio of the dual emission peaks of carboxy-SNARF-1 with various pH, we can use this system as an optical pH detection method.

The second project in this dissertation is the development of a chemiluminescent HNO probe. Pharmacological HNO is related to a wide range of biological activities, but its detection is difficult because of its instability and activity towards biological molecules. Based on a 1,2-spirodioxetane structure, with the acrylonitrile on the orthro position of the phenolate, we synthesized the first HNO chemiluminescent probe, HNOCL-1. The chemiluminescent intensity of the scaffold has been improved significantly and is capable of HNO detection in the nanomolar scale. With HNOCL-1, we successfully detected and quantified the HNO generated from the reaction between NO and H2S, which is one of the possible endogenous sources of HNO.

Degree Date

Summer 8-6-2019

Document Type


Degree Name





Alexander R. Lippert

Second Advisor

Isaac Garcia-Bosch

Third Advisor

David Y. Son

Fourth Advisor

Brian D. Zoltowski

Fifth Advisor

Steven B. Vik

Subject Area


Number of Pages




Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License