Synthesis, Characterization and Toxicity of Nanoparticles for Real World Applications
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Nanotechnology involves the synthesis and characterization of materials at the atomic, molecular and macromolecular scales, which results in a controlled manipulation of structures and devices that have at least one dimension that is approximately 1-100 nm in length. Objects at this scale, referred to as “nanoparticles” (NPs), exhibit physical properties differing from that of their bulk or micron scale counterparts. Unique properties such as small size, improved solubility, surface tailorability and large surface-to-volume ratio open up many research and application avenues for the materials scientist, the biologist and the engineer. These novel properties enable cross-disciplinary researchers the opportunity to improve existing products and to design and develop new products. The primary aim of this work was to design studies and formulate methodologies that offer valuable insight into the complexities that are often encountered with understanding environmental/human health impacts of a nanotechnology. This dissertation investigates two scenarios of a nanotechnological application. First, a current nanotechnology-based consumer application was considered. Specifically, the incorporation of titanium dioxide NPs into paints and lacquers was studied. A valuable way to gather information critical to the development of safe nanomaterial-containing consumer products is by employing a product life cycle approach. The primary focus here was to formulate methodologies to produce nano-enabled coatings in-house and assess the impacts/benefits of a nanotechnological application that is currently in the marketplace using a life cycle approach. Material characterization and toxicological evaluations of NPs in their pristine and end-of-life stages were assessed. Next, a potential nanotechnological application was explored. Specifically, the modification of silver NPs for insect vector control was investigated. The research developed here was the first of its kind in engineering a novel silver NP-pesticide conjugate. The efficacy of the newly developed conjugate and the cellular effects in model cell culture systems were evaluated. The findings of this work will provide a useful initial framework in prioritizing future nanotechnological research needs and have a significant impact on material scientists, toxicologists and engineers alike.
Sooresh, Aishwarya (2014). Synthesis, Characterization and Toxicity of Nanoparticles for Real World Applications. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from