Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

First Advisor

Dr. Michael Shultz

Second Advisor

Dr. Everett Carpenter


Iron oxide nanoparticles are highly researched for their use in biomedical applications such as drug delivery, diagnosis, and therapy. The inherent biodegradable and biocompatible nanoparticle properties make them highly advantageous in nanomedicine. The magnetic properties of iron oxide nanoparticles make them promising candidates for magnetic fluid hyperthermia applications. Designing an efficient iron oxide nanoparticle for hyperthermia requires synthetic, surface functionalization, stability, and biological investigations. This research focused on the following three areas: optimizing synthesis conditions for maximum radiofrequency induced magnetic hyperthermia, designing a simple and modifiable surface functionalization method for specific or broad biological stability, and in vitro and in vivo testing of surface functionalized iron oxide nanoparticles in delivering effective hyperthermia or radiotherapy.

The benzyl alcohol modified seed growth method of synthesizing iron oxide nanoparticles using iron acetylacetonate as an iron precursor was investigated to identify significant nanoparticle properties that effect radiofrequency induced magnetic hyperthermia. Investigation of this synthesis under atmospheric conditions revealed a combination of thermal decomposition and oxidation-reduction mechanisms that can produce nanoparticles with larger crystallite sizes and decreased size distributions.

Nanoparticles were easily surface functionalized with (3-Glycidyloxypropyl)trimethoxysilane (GLYMO) without the need for organic-aqueous phase transfer methods. The epoxy ring on GLYMO facilitated post-modifications via a base catalyzed epoxy ring opening to obtain nanoparticles with different terminal groups. Glycine, serine, γ-aminobutryic acid (ABA), (S)-(-)-4-amino-2-hydroxybutyric acid (SAHBA), ethylenediamine, and tetraethylenepentamine were successful in modifying GLYMO coated-iron oxide nanoparticles to provide colloidal and varying biological stability while also allowing for further conjugation of chemotherapeutics or radiotherapeutics. The colloidal stability of cationic and anionic nanoparticles in several biologically relevant media was studied to address claims of increased cellular uptake for cationic nanoparticles.

The surface functionalized iron oxide nanoparticles were investigated to determine effects on cellular uptake and viability. In vitro tests were used to confirm the ability of iron oxide nanoparticles to provide effective hyperthermia treatment. S-2-(4-Aminobenzyl)-1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane tetraacetic acid (DOTA) was coupled to SAHBA and carboxymethylated polyvinyl alcohol surface functionalized iron oxide nanoparticles and radiolabeled with 177Lu. The capability of radiolabeled iron oxide nanoparticles for delivering radiation therapy to a U87MG murine orthotopic xenograft model of glioblastoma was initially investigated.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission