Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Materials Science and Engineering


Dr. M. S. Kennedy

Committee Member

Dr. O. T. Mefford

Committee Member

Dr. E. Skaar


To effectively and accurately deliver drugs within the human body, both new designs and components for implantable micropumps are being studied. Designs must ensure high biocompatibility, drug compatibility, accuracy and small power consumption. The focus of this thesis was to fabricate a prototype magnetic nanoparticle membrane for eventual incorporation into a biomedical pump and then determine the relationship between this membrane deflection and applied pneumatic or magnetic force. The magnetic nanoparticle polymer composite (MNPC) membranes in this study were composed of crosslinked polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs). An optimal iron oxide fabrication route was identified and particle size in each batch was approximately 24.6 nm. Once these nanoparticles were incorporated into a membrane (5 wt. %), the nanoparticle formed agglomerates with an average diameter of 2.26 ±1.23 µm. Comparisons between the 0 and 5 wt. % loading of particles into the membranes indicated that the elastic modulus of the composite decreased with increasing particle concentration. The pressure- central deflection of the membranes could not be predicated by prior models and variation between magnetic and pneumatic pressure-deflection curves was quantified. Attempts to fabricate membranes with above 5 wt. % nanoparticles were not successful (no gelation). Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy results suggest that excess oleic acid on the nanoparticles prior to mixing might have prevented crosslinking.