Honors Theses


Kristen K. Comfort, Ph.D.


Chemical, Materials and Bioengineering

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Honors Thesis


Nanomaterial technologies are becoming increasingly prevalent in consumer and industrial applications, including drug delivery, energy harvesting, environmental applications, and medicine due to their unique physiochemical properties. As nanomaterial use increases, so too does human exposure. This has made it progressively more important to understand the toxicological effects of nanomaterials and their interactions with the human body. Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are one of the most commonly used nanomaterials due to their antibacterial properties. As inhalation is one of the most common exposure routes, understanding the toxicity of these AgNPs on lung tissue was studied. Using A549 cells for a lung tissue model, AgNPs of two sizes, 10 nm and 50 nm, and two different coatings, citrate and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), were studied. Toxicity analysis was performed to determine the effects of dose on cell viability. Pharmacokinetic profiles in static conditions were developed using deposition analysis. Future work will include deposition analysis on dynamic conditions to replicate conditions within a body. This work is part of a larger project to develop an enhanced microcellular model (EMM) to bridge the in vitro - in vivo gap and characterize nanomaterials, evaluate biological responses, and develop pharmacokinetic profiles.

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Undergraduate research


Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering | Chemical Engineering | Engineering | Materials Science and Engineering