Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects



Document Type



Antibacterial resistance is one of the greatest problems in modern medicine, as healthcare professionals are experiencing more and more difficulty in providing effective care. As such, alternative methods of treatment are needed in order to overcome this issue. One recently proposed method of alternative treatment is photodynamic therapy. Photodynamic therapy is a light-based method of treatment that utilizes (1) a photosensitizing agent, (2) light, (3) produced oxygen species. When the photosensitizing agent is injected into an infected region of interest and then irradiated with a certain wavelength of light, the agent is photoactivated and begins to produce harmful forms of oxygen, including reactive oxygen species. The oxygen species can then deactivate surrounding malignant cells, thus providing an effective form of antibacterial care. In this work, new forms of photosensitizing agents are discussed. One project involves the combination of graphene quantum dots (GQDs) with Methylene Blue (MB) as a more effective and efficient photosensitizing agent. The second project investigates the use of aluminum nanoparticles as an alternative agent. In both works, a Nd:YAG nanosecond pulsed laser was used to irradiate the samples for varying periods of time, and then following proper characterization procedures, the samples were combined with bacterial cultures to test the level of bacterial deactivation.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Ali Er, Dr. Chris Byrne


Biology | Chemistry | Materials Science and Engineering | Physics