Doctoral Dissertations


Pu Zhang


"In the past few years, the functionalization of carbon nanotubes has received considerable attention due to their extraordinary mechanical, electrical, optical and thermal properties. Using single wall carbon nanotube as a platform in bioanalytical and biomedical applications has also been extensively studied. This dissertation consists of four papers. In the first paper, various methods to functionalize single wall carbon nanotubes with immobilized enzyme for bioanalytical application were investigated. It was found that the covalent functionalization method was not an ideal methodology for enzyme addition neither in terms of enzyme loading amount nor activity retention compared to other methods. Use of a linker molecule was shown to be the best route to conjugate enzyme and carbon nanotube, since the enzyme loading amounts was the greatest. In the second paper, a novel, simple ultraviolet initiated "graft from" polymerization method to synthesize PEGylated carbon nanotubes was introduced. This grafting procedure significantly enhanced nanotube aqueous dispersibility and long term stability in solution. Next, in the third paper, the "graft from" polymerization method introduced above was utilized to fabricate polymer functionalized carbon nanotubes (PFCNTs) with pendant chains of various functionalities, including poly( ethylene glycol) chains to boost dispersibility and pendant epoxy groups for protein conjugate sites. This method allowed the enhancement of enzyme loading amount while retaining high enzyme activity. Finally, in the fourth paper, same polymerization technique were used as introduced in the third paper to fabricate polymer-functionalized SWNTs with pendant pH-and temperature responsive polymer chains. Therefore, the dispersibility of carbon nanotubes could be controlled through this strategy"--Abstract, page iv.


Henthorn, David

Committee Member(s)

Brown, Roger F.
Xing, Yangchuan
Ludlow, Douglas K.
Westenberg, David J.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Degree Name

Ph. D. in Chemical Engineering


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Spring 2010

Journal article titles appearing in thesis/dissertation

  • Comparison of different functionalization routes for the fabrication of enzyme-single wall carbon nanotube conjugates
  • Synthesis of PEGylated single wall carbon nanotubes by a photoinitiated graft from polymerization
  • Fabrication of high-capacity biomolecular carriers from dispersible single wall carbon nanotube-polymer composites
  • Fabrication of pH and temperature responsive single wall carbon nanotube via a raft from photopolymerization


xiii, 118 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references.


© 2010 Pu Zhang, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Enzymes -- Analysis
Nanotubes -- Carbon content

Thesis Number

T 9649

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