Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Nanoparticles (NPs) have been used widely in various fields ranging from biomedical applications to life science due to their highly tunable properties. It is essential to understanding how NPs interact with biological systems of interest, therefore, analytical platforms to efficiently track NPs from cell to animal level are essential. In this thesis, laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry (LDI-MS) and inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) has been developed and applied to quantify NP/cell and NP/biological surface interactions. These two methods provide fast, label-free and quantitative analysis. New capability of LDI-MS to differentiate cell surface-bound and internalized NPs were established and ICP-MS coupled with a library of surface- functionalized AuNPs were used to probe the affinity between NPs and human hair surface. NPs interacting with biological surfaces and plasma membrane were quantified and the interactions were controlled by the chemical properties of the interface between NP and biological systems.

First Advisor

Vincent M Rotello

Second Advisor

Richard W Vachet