Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Sherine O. Obare

Second Advisor

Dr. Ekkehard Sinn

Third Advisor

Dr. Yirong Mo

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Massood Zandi Atashbar


The design and synthesis of well-defined magnetic particles with nanoscale dimensions is opening new avenues in understanding their fundamental chemical and physical properties. Our work describes a novel facile procedure for the synthesis of homogenous isotropic and anisotropic magnetic nickel nanoparticles. These nanoparticles were produced using a wet-chemical process and characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), selected-area electron diffraction (SAED), powder x-ray diffraction (XRD), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Magnetic measurements were acquired using a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) magnetometer. While there is significant interest in using magnetic nanoparticles for biological applications, little is known about their size-dependent interactions with biological cells. We demonstrate the impact of different sizes of magnetic nickel nanoparticles on the growth rate of microorganisms and the influence of environmental factors on the particle-cell interactions. We further compare the effect of anchoring biological molecules on magnetic nanoparticle surfaces relative to noble metal surfaces, and study their effect on microorganisms. The results indicate that the surface and molecular orientation of the attached molecules play a significant role on cell interactions. The underlying mechanisms of these interactions will be discussed.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Campus Only

Restricted to Campus until