Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department



Dean, Delphine

Committee Member

LaBerge , Martine

Committee Member

Kitchens , Christopher


The field of nanotechnology research has seen a large growth in the past few decades due to the great potential of novel nano-size material for useful applications such as drug delivery and medical imaging. Also, they are a promising platform for the detection of terrible diseases such as cancer and atherosclerosis. Although these materials hold great promise, there is very limited understanding about the biological effects of these nanoparticles on normal healthy cells, such as vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). The VSMCs are unique cells due to the two distinct phenotype characteristics it can express: a contractile and a synthetic phenotype. Normally, they express a contractile phenotype for their primary function of regulating the lumen diameter of blood vessels. They also can express a synthetic phenotype when vascular injury occurs.