Term of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Physical Science (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Chemistry

Committee Chair

Worlanyo Gato

Committee Member 1

Amanda Stewart

Committee Member 2

Ji Wu


Nanotechnology is easily becoming one of the fastest growing markets around the globe. Synthetic nanomaterials have many unique chemical and physical properties, mainly due to their huge specific surface area and chemical makeup. Specifically, titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanomaterials have high stability, anticorrosive and photocatalytic properties. These nanomaterials have applications for semiconductor photocatalysis, treatment of water, as a photoactive material in nanocrystalline solar cells, and medicine. However, not much is known about the toxicity of TiO2 in the nanofiber form. The objective of the present study is to investigate the adverse effects associated with acute ingestion of TiO2 nanofiber (TDNF). TDNF was fabricated via an electrospinning method, followed by dispersion in water. Six to seven week old male Sprague Dawley rats were exposed to a total of 0, 40 and 60 ppm of TDNF for two weeks via oral gavage. Weight gain and cumulative weight eaten was tracked during the course of the study, displaying statistically insignificant concentration-dependent alterations among the three treatment groups. Differences in organ weights were not statistically significant among treatment groups. Blood serum was tested for Albumin, Alanine aminotransferase, and Lactase dehydrogenase to detect tissue damage in the lungs, liver, and kidney. Results from the blood serum indicated possible damage with respect to the kidney and liver. These findings were followed by global gene expression analysis to identify which transcripts might be responsive to TNDF toxicity. Differentially expressed mRNA levels among the liver, kidney, and lung yielded interesting results. Further analysis is needed to interpret what is being done to the tissue. One theory is the fact that TNDF is unable to penetrate the cell as a result; it forms a phagocytosis site and thus triggers inflammatory and immune response. All results taken together, short-term ingestion of titanium dioxide nano fiber (TNDF) produced marginal effects indicative of toxicity.

Research Data and Supplementary Material