Properties of nanoparticles can be engineered to exhibit desired properties for certain applications. In general, the surface area to volume ratio increases with the reduction of particle size. In some cases, this contributes to increase of surface defects available to the surrounding environment and hence reactivity. Changes in size, shape or coating of a nanoparticle can affect its properties. In this thesis, work was split into two main sections. The first part is an investigation into the antimicrobial and cytotoxicity effects of nano formulated N-acetyl cysteine coated zinc oxide (NAC-ZnO) as it can be encountered throughout the environment. NAC was used as a coating agent for its antimicrobial properties in terms of fighting against biofilm formation and its antioxidant properties. In this study, a comparative antimicrobial study of nano-size NAC-ZnO, nano-size NAC-ZnS, bulk ZnO (CR-41), and Zn(NO3)2 were conducted to understand the toxicity of these Zn based antimicrobials in the environment. The second part is a comprehensive investigation of Zinkicide®, a systemic nano formulated ZnO based antimicrobial for use in citrus trees to fight against bacterial diseases. Antimicrobial assays were performed for Zinkicide® on X. alfalfae, a gram-negative citrus phytopathogen surrogate, in efforts to find a solution to the citrus greening pandemic in Florida. Tests were also done to evaluate antimicrobial efficacy over time, to ensure that efficacy was not lost when stored or when used in the field by growers in their tank mixes. Hopefully, these results may help shed some light on how ZnO nanoparticles may react in the environment. This could lead to more nanotechnology-based products moving forward through the EPA & FDA pipeline to effectively make nanoparticle-based products more common place in agriculture.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Graduate Studies
Nanoscience Technology Center
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)
Heetai, Ryan, "Antimicrobial and Cytotoxicity Studies of Nano-Zinc Oxide" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 693.
Restricted to the UCF community until August 2026; it will then be open access.