Date of Graduation

Summer 2019


Master of Science in Chemistry


Chemistry and Biochemistry

Committee Chair

Katye Fichter


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.


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

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© Molly Erin Duszynski

Open Access

Included in

Chemistry Commons