Date of Graduation

Summer 2019


Master of Science in Chemistry



Committee Chair

Katye Fichter


quantum dots, magnetic resonance imaging, nanoparticles, bioconjugation, synthesis

Subject Categories



Quantum dots (QDs), which are intensely fluorescent nanocrystals ranging 2-10 nanometers in diameter, have shown promise in fluorescence imaging. However, in vivo applications of QDs are limited due to the opaque surrounding of tissue and bones. In this study, InP/ZnS QDs were doped with a paramagnetic atom in an attempt to render them MRI-active. We have further bioconjugated these nanoprobes to develop highly specific MRI-active probes that can be used for detection of neurodegenerative diseases. These bioconjugated nanoprobes detect a mutated form of alpha-synuclein that forms oligomers that are a hallmark of Parkinson’s disease andother alpha-synucleinopathies. Here, we have optimized the doping of QDs with MRI-active metals (e.g. Gadolinium) and characterized the MRI activity. The resulting nanocrystals werefurther studied to assess the success of the paramagnetic atom’s incorporation into the crystallattice and its performance as a probe for alpha-synucleinopathies such as Parkinson’s disease.


© Molly Erin Duszynski

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