Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Engineering and Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Charles A. Bleckmann, PhD.


Nanomaterials, classified as materials within the 1 - 100 nanometer range, have seemingly endless applications. It is very important to the Air Force to increase the understanding of Cu-NPs and the possible health impacts from nanomaterial exposure prior to wide-spread industry and military use. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to thoroughly characterize the properties of three different copper samples upon suspension into aqueous solutions over time: Cu-NPs (Cu 25 nm), CuO-NPs (CuO 40 nm), and Cu-MSP (Cu 500nm). Additionally, this research seeks to observe in vitro effects upon murine neuroblastoma cells (N2A) by these three types of particles as well as by CuCl2. Microscopy techniques indicate observable changes in oxidation for Cu-NP 25 nm and CuO-NP 40 nm after suspension in water over long incubation. In general, agglomerations of the particles increase when dosed with the endocytosis inhibitor Dynasore. In terms of cellular viability, CuCl2 is the least toxic at all concentrations. Cu-NP 25 nm is less toxic at low concentrations (< 25 μg/mL) than Cu-MSP 500 nm and CuO-NP 40 nm. At concentrations above 25 μg/mL, Cu-NP 25 nm becomes comparable in toxicity to CuO-NP 40 nm and more toxic than Cu-MSP 500 nm.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number