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Enzyme-catalyzed Degradation of Carbon Nanomaterials

Kotchey, Gregg P (2014) Enzyme-catalyzed Degradation of Carbon Nanomaterials. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Carbon nanotubes and graphene, the nanoscale sp2 allotropes of carbon, have garnered widespread attention as a result of their remarkable electrical, mechanical, and optical properties and the promise of new technologies that harness these properties. Consequently, these carbon nanomaterials (CNMs) have been employed for diverse applications such as electronics, sensors, composite materials, energy conversion devices, and nanomedicine. The manufacture and eventual disposal of these products may result in the release of CNMs into the environment and subsequent exposure to humans, animals, and vegetation. Given the possible pro-inflammatory and toxic effects of CNMs, much attention has been focused on the distribution, toxicity, and persistence of CNMs both in living systems and the environment.
This dissertation will guide the reader though recent studies aimed at elucidating fundamental insight into the persistence of CNMs such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene derivatives (i.e., graphene oxide and reduced graphene oxide). In particular, in-test-tube oxidation/degradation of CNMs catalyzed by peroxidase enzymes will be examined, and the current understanding of the mechanisms underlying these processes will be discussed. Finally, an outlook of the current field including in vitro and in vivo biodegradation experiments, which have benefits in terms of human health and environmental safety, and future directions that could have implications for nanomedical applications such as imaging and drug delivery will be presented.
Armed with an understanding of how and why CNMs undergo enzyme-catalyzed oxidation/biodegradation, researchers can tailor the structure of CNMs to either promote or inhibit these processes. For example, in nanomedical applications such as drug delivery, the incorporation of carboxylate functional groups could facilitate biodegradation of the nanomaterial after delivery of the cargo. Also, the incorporation of CNMs with defect sites in consumer goods could provide a mechanism that promotes the degradation of these materials once these products reach landfills.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Kotchey, Gregg Pgpkst3@pitt.eduGPKST3
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairStar, Alexanderastar@pitt.eduASTAR
Committee MemberMichael, Adrian Camichael@pitt.eduAMICHAEL
Committee MemberRobinson, Rena A Srena@pitt.eduRENA
Committee MemberKagan, Valerian Ekagan@pitt.eduKAGAN
Date: 31 January 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 20 August 2013
Approval Date: 31 January 2014
Submission Date: 30 September 2013
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 187
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Chemistry
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: biodegradation carbon nanotubes graphene enzymes horseradish peroxidase myeloperoxidase
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2014 20:38
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:15


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