Synthesis and characterization of nanostructures and their applications : from supercapacitors to fluorescent labels to proteins
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] Nanomaterials have gained importance in virtually all fields from industrial applications to pure science research since these were developed. However, synthesis and characterization of these nanomaterials are not trivial nor fully understood. This thesis focuses on the synthesis and characterization of nanostructures/nanomaterials and their applications. First, properties of nanostructures prepared with sol-gel chemistry and carbon based materials leading to supercapacitors with unique hydrophobic/hydrophilic structure have been studied. Second, fluorescent dye-doped nanoparticles prepared from organosilicate polymers, poly-methylsilsesquioxane (PMSSQ), as small as 3.5nm and as large as 50nm, have been synthesized which exhibit very intense fluorescence as well as excellent photo-stability. Surface modified nanoparticles were used for conjugation with proteins. The conjugated nanoparticle-protein complexes have been characterized with respect to the number of dye molecules per protein, biological activity and sensitivity of detection of ligands. Third, specificity and sensitivity of the nanoparticle-protein complexes in immunofluorescence assays have been used to image fibronectin in chick heart, resulting in three orders of magnitude enhancement of detection compared to commercial dye-labeled antibody. Finally, progress in the development of a dipstick assay for detection of corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG) bound to cortisol has been achieved, which will be used for a simple and robust diagnostic device being able to measure the ratio of cortisol to 6[beta]-hydroxycortisol as an in vivo indicator of induction of an enzyme, cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4).
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