Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Materials Science and Engineering

Committee Member

Dr. Olin Thompson Mefford, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Igor Luzinov

Committee Member

Dr. Marek Urban

Committee Member

Dr. Delphine Dean


Since their inception in the late 1970's magnetic nanomaterials have sparked heavy research into their use in the biomedical field. Their unique magnetic properties allow the magnetic particles to be the base for a large array of expiremental medical techniques, from treatments of disease, diagnostic tests, imaging aids, and more. In this manuscript, each stage starting from novel particle synthesis, functionalization with bioactive molecules, and innovative application is explored, specifically using the techniques magnetically mediated energy delivery, magnetophoresis, magnetic resonance imaging. The reproducible synthesis of nanomaterials is necessary if any further engineering application is going to be done. Using a novel extended LaMer approach where a precursor solution is consistently added to a reaction vessel allows for the linear volume growth of nanoparticles. This technique was originally used for the synthesis of magnetite (a simple ferrite) to control the volume of the particle indefinitely. Transferring it to a nonstoichiometric cobalt ferrite, it is shown that a linear volume growth is achieved up to 20nm. Secondary functionality of the magnetic particles has really opened up the application to sensing, selective treatment, and functional imaging. Surface modification with a bacterial strain discriminatory glycan allows for strain selective treatment of bacterial infection. Heparin functional particles show high pharmacokinetic activity for the treatment of neointimal hyperplasia due to high surface area to volume ratios. Gadolinium coated particles have distance dependent effects on the MRI relaxation rate of water, which may prove useful in functional imaging. Each of these complexes shows promise as a new way to treat or image malady. Although a small part in the large picture in developing a new generation of medicine, this research lays the foundation for each of these possible treatments. Be it the eradication of bacterial infection or the non-toxic prevention of restenosis, novel multifunctional nanomaterials such as the ones discussed in this manuscript, will be heavily relied on in the future of medicine.



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