Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department



Tzeng T. R., Jeremy

Committee Member

Temesvari A , Lesly

Committee Member

Ke , Pu-Chun

Committee Member

Podila , Ramakrishna


Bionanomaterials have been used in drug delivery, cancer therapy and biodiagnosis of pathogens based on their size and surface functionalization. In this present work, different kinds of nanoparticles (NPs), their cellular interactions, cytotoxicity profiles, and finally role of gold nanoparticles (GNPs) in biodetection of E. coli was investigated.
Firstly, cytotoxicity profiles of commercial, laser ablation, and green synthetic NPs were studied. Induction of apoptosis in cancer cells was found to be size dependent. The plain 80 nm GNPs and AgNPs enhanced toxic effects in cancer cells when compared to 20 nm ones. Apoptotic profiles of ALB- or FBS-coated NPs were significantly low in cancer cells when compared to plain NPs. The FBS-coated NPs were relatively bigger. Whereas, green synthetic NPs prepared from floral extracts of Tacoma stans and Tagetus erecta caused significant increase in cell membrane damage in cancer cells when compared to commercial GNPs. The phytochemicals in the extract were found to have a synergistic effect on pathogens like E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus faecalis when used with antibiotics like tetracycline, ampicillin and vancomycin. This effect can be capitalized in developing NPs as effective drug carriers.
Next, use of commercial GNPs as diagnostic tools to detect competitive binding in DU-145 in the presence of UTI-causing E. coli ORN178 was studied. GNPs functionalized with D-mannose (Mn) showed competitive binding between Mn-GNPs and E. coli ORN178 when presented together with DU-145 cells. Cytotoxicity assays of plain and Mn-GNPs showed significant decrease in viability of DU-145 cells. The plain/Mn 20 nm GNPs were taken up more by the cell when compared to the 200 nm ones. The protein-coated GNPs were found to be stable in culture medium. This competitive binding can be further developed to prevent/detect recurrent UTI in DU-45 cells.
Lastly, primary and fine sugar specificity of fimbrial lectins of E.coli ORN178 and E. coli 13762 to D-mannose and Neuαc(α2-3)-Gal-(β1-4)Glc-Paa functionalized GNPs showed that E. coli ORN178 binds specifically only to Mn-GNPs and E. coli 13762 to the latter. Hence, adhesin-specific adhesion shows great potential for designing NPs to specifically bind to microorganisms as biodiagnostic tools.

Included in

Microbiology Commons