• X-ray fluorescence spectrometry using synchrotron radiation with applications in unmanned aircraft environmental sensing

      Barberie, Sean Richard Gopal; Cahill, Catherine F.; Hatfield, Michael C.; Iceman, Christopher R. (2015-12)
      In this thesis I present an analytical optimization of the Synchrotron Radiation X-Ray Fluorescence (SR-XRF) technique for applications in unmanned aircraft aerosol studies. In environmental and atmospheric science, there is a pressing need for aerosol measurements at various altitudes in the atmosphere and spanning large regions. This need is currently either ignored, or met to a limited degree by studies that employ manned aircraft. There is, however, a great deal of opportunity to improve and expand on these studies using the emerging technology of unmanned aircraft systems. A newly developed aerosol sampler makes this opportunity a near-reality by its ability to collect aerosol samples in-situ from unmanned aircraft platforms. The challenge lies in analyzing these samples for elemental composition. In airborne aerosol studies, the ability to resolve where a sample was collected both spatially and temporally is limited by the sensitivity of the analysis technique. In aircraft-based aerosol collection, the length of the aerosol sample spot corresponds to distance. Thus the spatial resolution of an airborne study is limited by the amount of mass that must be collected for analysis. The SR-XRF optimizations outlined in this thesis decrease the amount of sample mass required for detectable elemental concentrations, allowing aerosol samples to be analyzed in smaller areas corresponding to smaller time steps. Since, in a flight path, time steps are directly correlated with distance, analysis of smaller time steps results in the ability to measure aerosols at higher spatial resolution. Four SR-XRF analysis configurations were experimentally tested: monochromatic beam, white beam, filtered white beam, and filtered white beam-filtered detector to determine which configuration gave the highest elemental sensitivity and selectivity. Of these tested methods, the straight polychromatic white beam configuration resulted in the best sensitivity for elements across a large range of x-ray energies for small amounts of mass collected on thin film substrates. The research in this thesis provides researchers with an optimized method for non-destructively analyzing a wide variety of environmental samples with high elemental sensitivity and selectivity. This research also has important implications for the ability to perform in-situ aerosol studies with unmanned aircraft on a systematic basis.
    • Zinc oxide nanoparticles and SH-SY5Y cell line

      Zheng, Jinghui; 郑, 静慧; Duffy, Lawrence; Dunlap, Kriya; Drew, Kelly; Das, Debendra (2013-08)
      The Arctic and sub-arctic regions are impacted by the growth of the global nanotechnology industry. Nanomaterials have unique chemical and physical properties that may lead to toxicological effects that interfere with normal cellular metabolism. Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) are now very common and widely used in daily life. In industry, ZnO NPs are used to protect different materials from damage caused by UV exposure. The scientific literature suggests that ZnO NPs can have negative impacts on both living organisms and plants. However, there is a paucity of research on the mechanisms by which ZnO NPs may affect the neuronal cells. This study investigates how ZnO NPs interact with the neuroblastoma cell line SH-SY5Y. Using transmission electron microscopy, we observed that the ZnO NPs form 36 nm particles on average, and increase the level of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in extracellular fluid, as measured by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Moreover, ZnO NPs, in presence of tumor neucrosis factor- α (TNF-α), can also decrease the level of extracellular VEGF compared with TNF-a treatment alone. These findings suggest the basis for more studies on understanding the mechanism by which ZnO NPs impact cytokine signaling. Another direction is using ELISA technology to observe the interactions of NPs with different cell types such as neuronal stem cells.