Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Jerry Clark (Committee Member), Jason Deibel (Committee Member), Ivan Medvedev (Advisor)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Terahertz spectroscopy has found use as an analytical tool in determining chemical composition of exhaled human breath. This thesis demonstrates a novel application of this technology - analytical sensing of gaseous metabolic products of several types of human cell cultures. An innovative experimental system was developed for probing cellular metabolism using terahertz [THz] rotational spectroscopy. Gaseous emissions of cell cultures were analyzed and compared between several cell types. Cancerous and healthy lung cells as well as cancerous liver cells were studied. This technique carries a lot of promise as a noninvasive method of distinguishing between cell types and identifying cell pathologies. In this set of experiments, prominent variance in the rates of acetaldehyde metabolism was identified, which can potentially be used as a diagnostic method of cellular identification. Possible applications of this novel technique might extend to the medical field, where it will be used as a non-invasive detection and diagnostic tool.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Physics

Year Degree Awarded


Included in

Physics Commons