Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

First Advisor

Dr. Karen Martirosyan

Second Advisor

Dr. Ahmed Touhami

Third Advisor

Dr. Megan Keniry


Nanotechnology has been used in an increasing number of applications in biochemistry and molecular biology. Compared to bulk materials, nanoscale materials offer a variety of advantages in applications due to an increased surface-to-volume ratio of the reactants. The unique properties of nanostructured materials and their properties such as stability, reactivity, magnetic response, pressure discharge performance and biocompatibility depend on particle size and shape. This work focuses on a nanoenergetic material composed of Aluminum (Al), Copper II oxide (CuO), and Iodine (I) pentoxide (I2O5), and the biomedical application of nanoscale dextran-coated magnetite (Fe3O4), which was produced using microfluidics to tune particle size. E. coli was shown to be sensitive to the reaction of the NM and the gaseous species produced during the reaction. The ionized Cu and I likely interacted with the bacterial proteins, lipids, and DNA, which led to cell death. In addition, the E. coli was sensitive to heating caused by magnetic induced hyperthermia in the presence of dextran-coated superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs). Further, SPIONs were used to provide controlled drug release of minocycline housed in a poly(lactic-co- glycolic acid) (PLGA) scaffold in an alternating magnetic field. SPIONs in an alternating magnetic field exhibited hyperthermia, due to nanoscale particles (10nm) becoming single magnetic domains, which have the potential to both treat tumor cells, and aid diagnostics and concomitant treatment modalities. Further modification of the SPIONs with dextran as a surfactant both served to control particle size and increase the intimate interaction with E. coli, allowing for the particles to exhibit a biocidal effect via magnetic induced hyperthermia.


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