Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Hua Mei

Committee Members

Greg Bishop, Catherine McCusker


This study aims to prepare theranostic nanoparticles (NPs) that are expected to increase cancer diagnostics and therapeutic efficacy. We prepared the NPs constituting carbon dots (CDs) as an imaging agent, folic acid as a targeting agent, doxorubicin (DOX), or gemcitabine (GEM) as chemotherapy agents. The NPs include noncovalent FA-CDs-DOX, covalent CDs-FA-DOX, and covalent FA-CDs-GEM. Through ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy, and Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy, the fabrication of these NPs was confirmed. It was discovered that the high drug loading efficiency is the noncovalent series while the high drug loading capacity is the covalent series The in-vitro pH-dependent drug release data indicate the NPs release more drugs at around pH 5.0 than at pH 7.4. The NPs sizes are between 2-5 nm. The Cell viability was investigated using the Alamar Blue assay and the three NPs complexes exhibited strong therapeutic efficacy against MDA-MB-468 breast cancer cells as compared with CDs-drug.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.