Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science




Charles T. Spencer

Second Advisor

Thomas Boland


Research on the toxicity of Graphene Oxides (GO) has captivated interest in the field of material science, environmental sciences, and medicine for their avail significance in biomedical engineer applications either as integrates, enhancements, or in the making of medical devices. Moreover, there is still a lack of understanding as to what characteristics on GOs causes them to be cytotoxic at a cellular level. In our study we synthesized four different GOs by varying in both the method used for oxidation (Modified Hummer’s method & Improved Marcano-Tour’s method), and the precursor parent graphite, for a standardization approach to aid in the making of less toxic GOs. In detail, our GOs differ from each other from lateral size (Lc and La), surface area, sp2 hybridized carbon, interlayer spacing (d), and surface oxidation. Each GO with their individual characteristics had a different cytotoxicity intensity when in contact with biological specimens. Cytotoxicity was shown to be influenced by GO affinity onto the outer surface on cells which ultimately led to cell death. To test for toxicity, the investigation qualitatively assesses GOs effects on erythrocytes, fibroblast, E. coli and S. Aureus cells. The variation of cells aimed to further the cytotoxicity understanding of each Graphene oxide, as well as identifying a relationship between cytotoxicity and GOs physiochemical characteristics. We believe our comprehensive report is first of its kind to find a relationship between the different GOs varying by their physiochemical characteristics on biological assessments (where size and functionality were compared), and cytotoxicity, by the measurement of viable cells.




Received from ProQuest

File Size

45 p.

File Format


Rights Holder


Included in

Biomedical Commons