Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials


Over the past decade, there has been increasing interest in the use of multifunctional nanoparticles for applications in the fields of chemistry, physics, biology, and medicine, as they offer unique electronic, optical, mechanical, magnetic, and thermal properties, compared to their bulk counterparts. Of particular interest is the use of nanoparticles in cancer treatment and cancer prevention in the form of an ultraviolet blocker in sunscreen products. An emerging field of research is the development of multifunctional nanoparticle systems, also called ‘theranostic systems’, which are able to combine multiple features, such as therapeutic, diagnostic, radiation dose enhancing, and targeting functions on one single platform. Inorganic bismuth- and tantalum-based nanoparticles are easily synthesized, have a high effective atomic number, are known to be biocompatible, and have not yet been well studied for cancer treatment or as potential ultraviolet blocker. Therefore, the aim of this project was to synthesize and characterize various bismuth- and tantalum-based nanomaterials regarding their physicochemical properties and their biological activity in cancer and normal cells in vitro.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.