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Nanoparticle Synthesis To Application: A Nanobiotechnology Lab Course For Biomedical Engineering

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

BME Laboratory and Project Experiences

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

15.900.1 - 15.900.13



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Paper Authors

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Sarah Pierce Cumberland University

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Amanda Lowery Vanderbilt University

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Charleson Bell Vanderbilt University

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Todd Giorgio Vanderbilt University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Nanoparticle Synthesis to Application: a Nanobiotechnology Lab Course for Biomedical Engineering Introduction

The investigation of living systems using nanoscale technologies has evolved into a new field of research, bionanotechnology. Bionanotechnology is the development of novel technology at the nanoscale level that is used to interface with biological systems. This highly interdisciplinary area integrates knowledge from traditional fields of study such as engineering, chemistry, physics, biology, material science and medicine. The advent of bionanotechnology is changing the way traditional nanotechnology courses are taught. These courses are shifting from pure nanoparticle (NP) synthesis and characterization to include the interaction of NPs in biological systems.

Laboratories provide students the opportunity to apply new knowledge in a simulated situation and enable the student to achieve learning objectives not easily obtained in the classroom. Fiesel and Rosa identify several general learning objectives for laboratory courses including instrumentation, modeling, experimentation, data analysis, communication, and teamwork.1 To achieve these learning objectives, practical hands-on application of concepts from a course and technical skills must be practiced. Additionally, Edward surveyed engineering students and found the students believe laboratory courses are essential to gaining a full understanding of course material.2 A bionanotechnology course, when housed within an engineering discipline, benefits from a lab by the active application of ideas and concepts presented in the lecture. Laboratory courses also appeal to the kinesthetic, self- many engineering students.2

This bionanotechnology laboratory course has been developed to accompany a three hour bionanotechnology lecture course that uses the textbook Nanotechnology in Biology and Medicine: Methods, Devices, and Applications by Tuan Vo-Dinh.3 The biomedical engineering (BME) course is designed for 4th year undergraduates as a one hour BME elective (3 contact hours). The objective of the laboratory is to engage students in nanoparticle development from synthesis to final application, similar to a research laboratory setting. The laboratory exercises are presented as two modules, the first being the synthesis of gold and silver NPs, and the second being the functionalization of quantum dot (QD) NPs with biological molecules such as folic acid. During each module, interaction of these NPs with living systems is evaluated and lab activities are correlated to the lectures. The learning outcomes of these labs are listed and learning outcomes in Table 1.

The first module addresses NP toxicity, specifically the toxicity of gold and silver NP when interacting with cells. The toxicity of NPs has been a highly debated area of research.4-6 The biological effects of nanoparticles depend on composition, surface charge, size, concentration, cell type, and other factors. In this module, students synthesized gold and silver NPs prepared by sodium borohydride precipitation and characterized the particles by optical spectroscopy and dynamic light scattering (DLS).7, 8 The students conducted in vitro NP toxicology studies on a human cell line and quantified the viability of the cells by fluorescence flow cytometry. The pre- laboratory preparation included readings pertaining to NP toxicity.6 During this module, in

Pierce, S., & Lowery, A., & Bell, C., & Giorgio, T. (2010, June), Nanoparticle Synthesis To Application: A Nanobiotechnology Lab Course For Biomedical Engineering Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15697

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