First Advisor

Andrea M. Goforth

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Chemistry and University Honors




Bismuth -- Synthesis, Nanostructured materials, Nanoparticles, Contrast media (Diagnostic imaging)




Nanoparticle X-ray contrast agents have garnered significant attention over the past decade. While gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) have held most of that attention, being one of the most widely studied and understood materials mechanistically, as well as synthetically, bismuth has gained significant ground as an alternative material to gold. This is owing to the low cost of bulk elemental bismuth and bismuth compounds, bismuth's high X-ray opacity, as well as its generally accepted biological tolerance, making bismuth a very suitable candidate for medical X-ray contrast applications. In the research presented, an ultra-high payload, glucose-assisted, elemental bismuth nanoparticle (BiNP) synthetic protocol is examined. In order to make more directed modifications to future BiNP synthetic work that would allow greater control over particle morphology, size control, as well as particle stability, greater understanding into the subtle and intricate chemical interactions governing kinetic parameters must be obtained. In an attempt to gain the necessary mechanistic understanding required to make such synthetic modifications, several studies were carried out. This thesis represents a small step, with the aforementioned synthesis, in that direction and also suggests future studies that can be implemented in order to gain further mechanistic insight.


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