Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

David Cool (Committee Member), Thomas Lockwood (Committee Member), Ioana Sizemore (Advisor)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Nowadays, 24% of the nanomaterial-based consumer products contain silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) and exploit the well-known antimicrobial properties of silver. Although AgNPs have a wide range of biomedical research and industrial applications, very little is known about their toxicity. The main goal of this study is to synthesize, characterize and manipulate Creighton colloidal AgNPs for future cytotoxicity studies. These "naked" AgNPs were free from chemically aggressive capping/stabilizing agents, reaction byproducts or organic solvents. To achieve this goal, colloidal AgNPs were successfully: a) synthesized in large volumes (5L) using a slightly modified Creighton method by the reduction of silver nitrate with sodium borohydride, b) characterized using UV-Vis absorption spectrophotometry, flame atomic absorption spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy (spherical AgNPs of 1-100 nm in diameter, moderately aggregated, free of impurities and having a surface plasmon resonance at 396 nm), and c) size-selected (mostly AgNPs of 1-20 nm in diameter) and highly concentrated (5 L of 14.98 ppm down to 4 mL of 7,461.65 ppm) in a small volume of water with minimal aggregation using tangential flow ultrafiltration. These homogenous and highly concentrated, "naked" AgNPs will be used in future cytotoxicity studies that will establish the median lethal concentration (LC50) of AgNPs and will identify AgNPs suitable for surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy-based biosensing applications in our laboratories.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Year Degree Awarded