Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Ashok Kumar, Ph.D.


Biosensor, Porous silicon, Orthopaedics, Tissue engineering, Collagen, Carbon nanotube


The use of nanotechnology to develop methods for fabrication and characterization of organized hybrid nanostructures that include integrated polymeric, biological and inorganic compounds has increased exponentially during the last decade. Such bio-nano-composite materials could be used in solving current biomedical problems spanning from nanomedicine to tissue engineering and biosensing. In this dissertation, a systematic study has been carried out on the synthesis, characterization, of two interfaces between naturally derived and synthetic nanostructures. Carbon nanotubes and porous silicon represent the synthetic nanostructures that were developed for the purpose of interfacing with the naturally derived bovine type I collagen and respiratory syncytial virus DNA respectively. Firstly, the synthesis of collagen-carbon nanotubes by two different techniques: fibrillogenesis through slow wet fiber drawing (gelation process) and electrospinning has been highlighted. Characterization of the novel nanocomposite was conducted using electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, nanoindentation, and Raman spectroscopy. The collagen-carbon nanotube gelation process was found to have superior nanoscale surface mechanical properties that were more conducive to higher osteoblast specific protein expression such as osteocalcin. Applications of the developed nanofibers are detailed in the fields of orthopaedics and tissue engineering. Secondly, an overview of porous silicon synthesized by hydrofluoric acid is presented. A parametric study was performed to determine the optimal pore size was carried out. The use of porous silicon as a biosensor to detect RSV virus by DNA hybridization was then provided and the importance of the interface chemistry was highlighted.