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Title: Interactions of nanoparticles with lipid mesophases and the relevance to the study of nanotoxicity
Author: Bulpett, Jennifer Margaret
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2013
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Nanotoxicity is a very important area of current research. Continuing advances in nanotechnology allow use of nanoparticles (NPs) and nanomaterials in many novel and increasingly widespread applications. The current knowledge of the interactions of NPs with the human body and the environment is limited, and many associated effects of NPs and other nanomaterials are unknown. Of particular importance is the oxicity of NPs. Toxicity can occur by a number of different and not fully understood mechanisms including inflammation, cytotoxicity, genotoxicity, carcinogenicity and oxidative stress. Many previous experiments have focused on qualitative and phenomenological observations of the interactions of NPs with cells. The aim of this project is to improve fundamental understanding of the mechanisms behind nanotoxicity, employing a number of quantitative and rigorous techniques to gain a more in depth understanding of nanotoxicity on a fundamental level. Experimental parameters known to affect the properties of NPs such as size, shape, surface chemistry and hydrophilicity will be varied and examined. In order to understand the effects of NPs on cells, NPs were added to a number of different model membrane systems and the effects on the curvature and self assembly of the systems were assessed. Hydrophobic and hydrophilic NPs were utilised, including silica, gold and magnetite of size 2.4 - 14 nm, which are all of interest in the field of nanotechnology. NPs were characterised with Transmission Electron Microscopy and Dynamic Light Scattering in order to determine size and aggregation. Samples were viewed with Atomic Force Microscopy, X-Ray Reflectivity and Small Angle X-Ray Scattering. The experiments carried out utilised quantitative physical chemistry techniques to understand comprehensively how the above parameters would affect whether a NP is toxic. NPs were shown to affect the phase transitions and the mesophase architecture and this was dependent on the size, surface chemistry and concentration of the NPs. The pure lipid systems were found to be more susceptible to NP influence than a purple membrane system.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available