Chemically Synthesized Nano-Structured Materials for Biomedical and Photonic Applications
Abstract: Nanostructured materials have attracted a broad interest for applications in scientific and engineering fields due to their extraordinary properties stemming from the nanoscale dimensions. This dissertation presents the development of nanomaterials used for different applications, namely biomedicine and dye lasing.Various inorganic nanoparticles have been developed as contrast agents for non-invasive medical imaging, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and X-ray computed tomography (CT), owing to their unique properties for efficient contrasting effect. Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) are synthesized by thermo-decomposition method and phase-transferred to be hydrophilic used as MRI T2 (negative) contrast agents. Effects of surface modification of SPIONs by mesoporous silica (mSiO2) coating have been examined on the magnetic relaxivities. These contrast agents ([email protected]) were found to have a coating-thickness dependent relaxation behavior and exhibit much higher contrast efficiency than that for the commercial ones. By growing thermo-sensitive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide -co-acrylamide) (P(NIPAAm-co-AAm)) as the outermost layer on [email protected] through free radical polymerization, a multifunctional core-shell nano-composite has been built up. Responding to the temperature change, these particles demonstrate phase transition behavior and were used for thermo-triggered magnetic separation. Their lower critical solution temperature (LCST) can be subtly tuned from ca. 34 to ca. 42 ?C, suitable for further in vivo applications. An all-in-one contrast agent for MRI, CT and fluorescence imaging has been synthesized by depositing gadolinium oxide carbonate hydrate [Gd2O(CO3)2·H2O] shell on mSiO2-coated gold nanorod (Au NR), and then the particles were grafted with antibiofouling copolymer which can further link with the fluorescent dye. It shows both a higher CT and MRI contrast than the clinical iodine and gadolinium chelate contrast agent, respectively. Apart from the imaging application, owing to the morphology of Au NR, the particle has a plasmonic property of absorbing near-infrared (NIR) irradiation and suitable for future photothermal therapy. Cytotoxicity and biocompatibility of aforementioned nanoparticles have been evaluated and minor negative effects were found, which support their further development for medical applications.Gold nanoparticles embedded in the optical gain material, water solution of Rhodamine 6G (Rh6G) in particular, used in dye lasers can both increase and damp the dye fluorescence, thus, changing the laser output intensity. The studies of size effect and coating of gold nanoparticles on photostability of the gain media reveal that small sized (ca. 5.5 nm) gold nanoparticles are found detrimental to the photostability, while for the larger ones (ca. 25 nm) fluorescence enhancement rather than quenching is likely to occur. And a noticeable improvement of the photostability for the gain material is achieved when gold is coated with SiO2.
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