Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Grigoriy Sereda


Surface-engineered nanomaterials have recently garnered wide attention for their huge biomedical applications. The surface functionalization of nanoparticles by desired chemical groups and coatings imparts unique properties to be used in therapeutic applications. Herein, we reported the biological and biomedical applications of three mineral particles: calcium carbonate nanoparticles, hydroxyapatite nanoparticles and mesoporous silica nanoparticles. The ability of pristine and surface-modified calcium carbonate particles to scatter UV-light significantly depends on the particle’s size, its surface chemical composition, and can be close to the SPF values of commercial sunscreens. These nontoxic particles are a promising component of biocompatible sunscreens free of the traditional photocatalytic titania. Casein-coated calcium carbonate nanoparticles demonstrated for the acid-triggered gate-controlled release of eugenol also make them excellent candidates for targeted delivery of various drugs. Higher biodegradability of hydroxyapatite particles and their anisotropic surface chemistry opens the door for their site-selective functionalization to tune their gene-delivery and drug-delivery properties. Mesoporous silica nanoparticle (MSN), a novel drug delivery material for oncology, have properties like facile surface functionalization, elevated drug loading, robustness, excellent biocompatibility which make it a good candidate as drug delivery carrier in cancer studies. My research is aimed at the exploration of the surface chemistry and functionalization of calcium carbonate and hydroxyapatite-based materials to enable their practical applications in the skin-friendly sunscreens, drug delivery systems, and in the genetic modification of plants. With MSNs, our plan is to carry out a drug release study of veratridine (VTD) using MMP-7 and MMP-9 (Matrix MetalloProteases overexpressed in metastatic cancerous cell) before doing mouse model experiments. I have synthesized calcium carbonate nanoparticles and checked the UV absorbing capability of pristine and coated particles along with organic counterparts which showed promising results. I also synthesized hydroxyapatite nanorods and functionalized them with arginine and (3-Aminopropyl)triethoxysilane (APTES) to make them more favorable towards gene transfer. Drug delivery study with our carboxylated MSNs is in progress with good preliminary results. Future works are to stabilize calcium carbonate nanoparticles keeping SPF value high, to make thinner hydroxyapatite nanorods and to synthesize PEGylated MSNs for getting higher solubility.

Subject Categories



Surface-engineered nanomaterials, ATED DRUG DELIVERY, GENE TRANSFER, SUNSCREEN FORMULATIONS, biomedical applications, calcium carbonate nanoparticles, hydroxyapatite nanoparticles, mesoporous silica nanoparticles.

Number of Pages



University of South Dakota

Available for download on Saturday, January 10, 2026

Included in

Chemistry Commons