Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Biomedical Engineering

Major Professor

Jacqueline Johnson

Committee Members

Feng-Yuan Zhang, David Anderson, Silke Hecht


The goal of the research presented in this dissertation is to develop iron nanoparticles suitable for use as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) contrast agents, for enhancement of Laser Induced Thermal Therapy (LITT), and to combine these capabilities for Magnetic Resonance guided Laser Induced Thermal Therapy (MRgLITT). In order to accomplish this, small metallic iron nanoparticles were to be produced with a biocompatible coating. Synthesis methods employed are reduction and thermal decomposition of iron (ii) chloride, iron pentacarbonyl, and iron sulfate. Several biocompatible coatings were investigated to determine their performance as a protective layer. Characterization techniques used include DLS, TEM, Mössbauer Spectroscopy, NMR, and cytotoxicity.Reduction of iron (ii) chloride resulted in metal iron and iron oxide nanoparticles. Iron metal nanoparticles had not oxidized completely after three years of storage in air. Thermal decomposition of iron pentacarbonyl in organics produced iron oxide nanoparticles with an iron metal core. The reaction proved to be very reproducible. Iron sulfate reductions created metal and amorphous iron nanoparticles.

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