Doctoral Dissertations


Xiaoqian Liu


"Nanopartices as a new class of materials found their applications in industry, aerospace, clinical diagnosis and cancer therapy. Recently, the health effects of nanoparticles have caused people great concerns. This dissertation studies the mechanisms of nanoparticle cytotoxicity in human lung epithelial cells (A549). F₂-isoprostanes are novel reliable biomarkers for lipid peroxidation. In the first part of this work, total free F₂-isoprostanes were quantified by high performance liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry followed by the exposure of SiO₂ (15 nm), CeO₂ (20 nm), Fe₂O₃ (30 nm), and ZnO (70 nm) nanoparticles for 24 hours. For the first time, the results showed that F₂-isoprostanes levels increased significantly in A549 cells followed by nanoparticles exposure. This implied that nanoparticles caused cell membrane damage due to lipid peroxidation. After this work, the isomers of F₂-isoprostanes were investigated further. The purpose of the second part dissertation is to study the patterns of F₂-isoprostanes isomers corresponding to nanopartilce exposure. Six F₂-isoprostane isomers were identified and quantified in A549 cells. The levels of F₂-isoprostane isomers in the cells increased after the treatment of selected nanoparticles. In SiO₂ nanoparticle treated cells, two unknown peaks were found. In Al₂O₃ and ZnO nanoparticle treated cells, the first unknown peak was also found. We believe that they are two new isomers, but we do not have standards to identify them. Our study demonstrates that SiO₂ nanoparticle showed the highest degree of lipid peroxidation and cell membrane damage among the studied nanoparticles. Arsenic and nanoparticles both exist in the environment. The third part of this dissertation investigates the effect of nanoparticles on the cytotoxicity of arsenic. Our preliminary data showed that SiO₂, Al₂O₃, and TiO₂ nanoparticles at the experimental concentrations did not change arsenate cytotoxicity compared with the controls. Fe₂O₃ nanoparticle at 70.0 and 100µg/mL concentrations enhanced arsenate cytotoxicity compared with arsenate only treated cells, even though the enhancement is not significant. Our discovery will help researchers in understanding the mechanisms of nanoparticle toxicity and contribute in protecting human health from environmental and occupational nanoparticles as well as arsenic"--Abstract, page iv.


Ma, Yinfa
Whitefield, Philip D.

Committee Member(s)

Ercal, Nuran
Huang, Yue-wern
Nam, Paul Ki-souk



Degree Name

Ph. D. in Chemistry


Missouri University of Science and Technology. Department of Chemistry
Missouri University of Science and Technology. Environmental Research Center


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Fall 2009

Journal article titles appearing in thesis/dissertation

  • Determination of F₂-isoprostanes in cultured human lung epithelial cells after exposure to metal oxide and silica nanoparticles by high performance liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry
  • F₂-isoprostane isomers study in vitro after treatment of selected nanoparticles by liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry
  • Effect of nanoparticles on the cytotoxicity of arsenic in human lung epithelial cells


xiii, 103 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references.


© 2009 Xiaoqian Liu, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Cell membranes
Nanostructured materials -- Toxicology
Oxidative stress

Thesis Number

T 9558

Print OCLC #


Electronic OCLC #


Link to Catalog Record

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