Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Rosenzweig, Zeev

Second Advisor

Tarr, Matthew A.

Third Advisor

Cole, Richard B.

Fourth Advisor

Caruntu, Gabriel


The first project focused on the preparation, characterization, and application of dual emission quantum dot encoded mesoporous silica microparticles. The quantum dots were added in precisely controlled ratios and were stably encapsulated within the pores of the silica. Several experiments were performed to test the superior stability of the quantum dot-silica composites over dye-loaded silica particles. The composite particles exhibited very high fluorescence, were functionalized with antibodies, and were used as signal transducers for the detection of a protein expressed by breast cancer cells. The second project focused in more detail on the detection capabilities of the quantum dot-silica composites. Three different types of quantum dot-silica composites were prepared. Each type was loaded with a separate type of quantum dot with distinct emission wavelengths and was functionalized with separate antibodies for detection of three different breast cancer biomarkers. These three composite sensors were used together for the simultaneous detection of each of the breast cancer markers. The initial strategy utilized the direct detection method in which the antigen is nonspecifically adsorbed to a glass plate. An improved second strategy was more sensitive and used a capture antibody which was covalently bound to a glass plate to immobilize the antigen. The third project focused on the preparation and application of magnetic, fluorescent human serum albumin nanoparticle composites. A fluorescent drug analogue and iron oxide nanoparticles were encapsulated into 100 nm human serum albumin nanoparticles. The advantage of these composite particles is that they could be used as a theranostic tool which could target, detect, and treat diseased tissue in a single application. Release of the drug analogue from the nanocomposites was achieved by addition of proteolytic enzymes that are expressed or overexpressed in cancer cells. The temporal release of the fluorescent drug analogue was measured as a function of enzyme concentration. The amount of drug released was directly proportional to enzyme concentration.


The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.