Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Engineering

Committee Chair(s)

Yu Huang


Yu Huang


David W. Britt


Charles D. Miller


Timothy Gilberston


Microscopic bioimaging is a useful approach to study cell-biomaterial interactions which are vital to the biomedical application of biomaterials. Through microscopic imaging, numerous cellular responses, such as proliferation, uptake, and death, can be recorded, characterized and analyzed.

In this thesis, I first provided basic introductions to the imaging techniques and analysis tools, especially those that are highly relevant to the studies of biomaterials and cell interactions. I also detailed the adaptation of these techniques and tools in the application of two specific research projects in biomaterials, with special focuses on the imaging and analysis.

The first project assessed the subtle cytotoxicity of 3D-printed polymers due to the leachable impurities, and the remedy effects of three post-printing treatment methods that reduce the leachables. I demonstrated how a long-term time-lapse imaging method was applied and how the imaging data were analyzed for the assessment of the cytotoxicity under various treatment conditions. The results suggested that the cytotoxicity of 3D-printed materials occurred in a leachable manner. Effective detoxification methods were identified and validated using this imaging method.

The second project studied the selective cytotoxicity and traceable internalization of ZnO nanoparticles in brain tumor cells. As an important component of this study, I demonstrated how a confocal microscopic method was adapted to trace nanoparticles in cell cultures using a microfluidic imaging chamber; which fluorescently imaged the nanoparticles in high resolution. Through the 3D rendering of z-stacks, the localization of the internalized nanoparticles was revealed, as the majority entered in the cytoplasm.

Available for download on Wednesday, January 24, 2024