Date of Award

Spring 2016

Thesis Type

Rollins Access Only

Degree Name

Honors Bachelor of Arts




Dr. Ellane Park

Committee Member

Dr. Laurel Habgood

Committee Member

Dr. Pedro Bernal


Photoactive gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) have the potential to revolutionize cancer diagnostics and therapies by providing a simple and reliable method for attachment of a target biomolecule to the nanoparticle surface. Gold nanoparticles are first functionalized by a self-assembled monolayer (SAM) that is photoactive and serves as a platform to graft any biomolecule of choice upon light exposure. This method shows advantages over conventional synthesis by the simplicity of the procedure, the use of UV light as a green “reagent”, and the diversity of molecules that can be attached with little or no modification. In order for the nanoparticles to be biocompatible, they must be non-toxic and soluble in aqueous solution. At the same time, the photografting capability of the gold nanoparticle should be maximized. With these goals in mind, three novel systems of photoactive gold nanoparticles with mixed monolayers are proposed. The suggested procedures are assessed on their advantages and potential drawbacks with regards to ligand synthesis, nanoparticle synthesis, and overall photografting ability. The utilization of mixed-monolayers for combining advantageous properties in a single system is a paradigm that can lead to improvements in nanoparticle design with the goal of bringing photoactive gold nanoparticles into the clinical realm.

Rights Holder

Ibrahim Musri