Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

David Dolson (Committee Member), Paul Seybold (Committee Member), Ioana Sizemore (Advisor)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Two techniques of emerging importance were used to study different biochemical phenomena: the fate of silver nanoparticles in Vero 76 African green monkey kidney cell mitochondria, and the effect of pH on tautomer ratios using cellular automata. In the first area of research Vero 76 Africa green monkey kidney cells were incubated with silver nanoparticles (AgNP) and ionic silver (Ag+). After 24 hours the cell mitochondria were harvested, then processed with CPE-TFF and ICP-OES. The initial AgNP incubation formed 52.9% ± 15.5% AgNP and 29.9% ± 4.0% Ag+, while the ionic silver incubation formed 9.5% ± 0.9% AgNP and 60.6% ± 6.3% Ag+. In addition to this, relative proportions of tautomers in solutions of differing pH were examined using cellular automata. The rule-based, bottom-up design of cellular automata can cause complexity to arise as an emergent property rather than being a programmed variable. The tautomeric equilibrium of 9-anthrone, 9-anthrol, and their common ion was studied. pH values of 4, 7, and 10, along with the tautomeric equilibrium equation and Henderson-Hasselbalch equation, and accompanying pKE and pKa values were used to determine simulation parameters. At pH values of 4 or 7, 9-anthrone was found to comprise over 99% of the total population, while at pH 10 both 9-anthrone and the common anion (deprotonated 9-anthrol) contributed 49.8% of the total population. In all cases 9-anthrol contribution was so small as to be considered inconsequential. In all cases results were found to agree with those obtained from differential equations, with less time and derivation involved while accounting for such realities as stochasticity and a system of non-continuous components.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Chemistry

Year Degree Awarded


Included in

Chemistry Commons