Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Ioana E. Pavel, Ph.D. (Advisor); David A. Dolson, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Steven R. Higgins, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Marjorie M. Markopoulos, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The number of consumer products containing nanomaterials over the last eight years has increased over two-fold. Silver is one of the most commonly used materials in consumer goods nanoparticle fabrication.1 Thus, the uptake and biodistribution of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) within mammalian cells can provide insight into their possible toxicological effects. In this study, starch-capped AgNPs of an average diameter of 9 ± 5 nm were synthesized via a bottom-up method, and characterized by Raman spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), inductively couple plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES), and absorption spectroscopy. Vero 76 cells were incubated with 0.0, 0.1, 1.0, and 3.0 mg/L starch-capped AgNPs for 2, 4, 12, and 24 hr in a water vehicle control for imaging with CytoViva darkfield microscopy and hyperspectral analysis. It was observed that the morphology of the cells was negatively impacted at all exposure concentrations in a dose-dependent manner. The cells appear clustered, had fewer dendrites forming, and cell debris is visible on the microscope slide. Vero 76 cells were exposed to all concentrations of AgNPs for 4 hr at 0.0, 0.1, 1.0, and 1.5 mg/L for mitochondrial isolation and total Ag uptake was estimated by ICP-OES. It was determined that at exposure concentrations of 1.0 and 1.5 mg/L, AgNPs remained in the incubated Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle Medium (DMEM), 86% and 77%, respectively. A bicinchoninic acid (BCA) protein assay was also performed under similar conditions in order to examine cell viability. Cellular toxicity was found to be concentration dependent; the smallest cell viability value (7%) was observed at the highest concentration of AgNPs (3 mg/L).

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Chemistry

Year Degree Awarded


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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