Date of Award

Fall 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Health Services Research (HSOP)


Molecular Science and Nanotechnology

First Advisor

David Mills


Due to increased reports of infections and biofouling arising from the use of invasive medical devices, novel antimicrobial agents with suitable anti-biofouling properties are critically needed. Transition metals exhibit substantial antimicrobial activity; however, their use is limited because of their inherent toxicity to eukaryotic cells. In this regard, naturally occurring halloysite clay nanotubes (HNTs) show significant promise. HNTs possess a high surface area for adsorption while its hollow lumen can be used for loading different materials.

Herein, we demonstrate an electrolytic method for generating and depositing metal nanoparticles (NPs) on the HNTs outer surface and we propose an optimized method for fabricating metal-halloysite clay nanotubes (mHNTs) with varying silver (Ag), copper (Cu), and zinc (Zn) deposition displaying contrasting microbiological and cytotoxic properties which were validated using various characterization methods.

Bacterial biofouling of medical devices through biofilm formation is a significant problem leading to failure, to address this problem mHNTs were incorporated into 3D printing, spray coating of antibacterial chitosan film, electrodeposition of titanium implants.