Date of Award


Degree Type



Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Yau, SiuTung

Subject Headings

Electrical engineering, Cytology, Enzymes, Cellular Biology Electrical Engineering


This thesis shows that electric fields can be used to control electron transport in biological systems and improve the performance of biological devices using an external gating voltage. It has recently been shown that an ultrasensitive detection method based on electric field effect can be used to control the kinetics of enzymatic conversion of glucose. The first part of the thesis is a mechanistic study of the enzyme catalyzed conversion of glucose to gluconolactone using the field effect enzymatic detection (FEED) technique. Use of a voltage controlled enzymatic system decreased electrons tunnel between electrode and active center of glucose oxidase (GOx) to 13mM, as compared with normal status (56mM). The catalytic constant of glucose molecules was also increased to 870S-1. A high concentration of PBS in the system would induce more electrical charges which will induce a stronger electrical field. The results indicate that electrostatic field effect can be used to improve the activity of a redox enzyme immobilized on an electrode by setting up electric field on the interface. Next, the FEED technique is applied to the metabolism of glucose by yeast cells. A transistor-like electrochemical device is constructed to control the glucose metabolism process. Finally, the FEED is used to enhance the performance of yeast-based microbial fuel cell