Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department


Committee Chair/Advisor

Podila, Ramakrishna

Committee Member

Rao, Apparao M

Committee Member

Bruce, Terri


The global market for nanomaterials based products is forecasted to reach $1 trillion per annum per annum for 2015. Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) exhibit unique physicochemical properties with potential to impact diverse aspects of society through applications in electronics, renewable energy, and medicine. While the research and proposed applications of ENMs continue to grow rapidly, the health and safety of ENMs still remains a major concern to the public as well as to policy makers and funding agencies. It is now widely accepted that focused efforts are needed for identifying the list of physicochemical descriptors of ENM before they can be evaluated for nanotoxicity and biological response. This task is surprisingly challenging, as many physicochemical properties of ENMs are closely inter related and cannot be varied independently (e.g. increasing the size of an ENM can introduce additional defects). For example, varying toxic response may ensue due to different methods of nanomaterial preparation, dissimilar impurities and defects. Furthermore, the inadvertent coating of proteins on ENM surface in any biological milieu results in the formation of the so-called “protein/bio-corona” which can in turn alter the fate of ENMs and their biological response. Carbon nanomaterials (CNMs) such as carbon nanotubes, graphene, and graphene oxide are widely used ENMs. It is now known that defects in CNMs play an important role not only in materials properties but also in the determination of how materials interact at the nano‐bio interface. In this regard, this work investigates the influence of defect-induced hydrophilicity on the bio-corona formation using micro Raman, photoluminescence, infrared spectroscopy, electrochemistry, and molecular dynamics simulations. Our results show that the interaction of proteins (albumin and fibrinogen) with CNMs is strongly influenced by charge transfer between them, inducing protein unfolding which enhances conformational entropy and higher protein adsorption.

Included in

Physics Commons



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