First Advisor

Andrea Goforth

Date of Publication

Fall 12-2-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Chemistry






Bismuth -- Analysis, Bismuth -- Diagnostic use, Radiographic contrast media -- Research



Physical Description

1 online resource (ix, 211 pages)


Bismuth based nanomaterials have recently attracted attention as heavy element X-ray contrast agents because of the high atomic number and predicted biological compatibility of bismuth. Nanoparticle X-ray contrast agents may enable a number of novel medical imaging applications, including blood pool and site-directed imaging. However these hypothetical applications are hindered by lack of suitable synthetic methods for production of imaging agents. This dissertation describes synthesis of a novel class of bismuth nanoparticles that are aqueously stabilized using poly and monosaccharides. These particles are synthesized using highly biologically compatible reagents and are oxidatively stable in water and in moderately basic buffered solutions. Bismuth nanoparticles stabilized by the polysaccharide dextran have a large hydrodynamic radius and a relatively small bismuth nanocrystal core (4% bismuth by volume.) Glucose-capped particles have a much higher ratio of bismuth by volume (>60%), and experimental CT scans of these particle solutions demonstrate higher X-ray contrast versus a current clinically used radiocontrast agent. Additional syntheses of hydrophobic organoamine-capped bismuth nanoparticles by reduction of an iodobismuth cluster, and development of other X-ray contrast materials, such as a radiopaque surgical sponge marker and ink, using bismuth micoparticles produced by a top-down ball milling method, are also described.


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