Daniel Asunskis, Ph.D.

 (605) 642-6516



  • Post-doc, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • Ph.D., Materials Chemistry, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
  • B.S., Chemistry, Truman State University, Kirksville, MO


  • Assistant Professor, Chemistry
  • Black Hills State University

Current Research:

Quantum dots have received significant attention for their potential as renewable energy and bioimaging materials. A variety of semiconducting quantum dots are synthesized by a standard high temperature injection methods followed by conversion reactions for use in photovoltaics, or as biolabels. These nanocrystals exhibit intense bandgap optical absorption and emission, which is retained throughout the surface conversion reactions. These nanocrystals are then exposed to cells to study their imaging potential and to analyze their cellular toxicity. The cells chosen this analysis are student maintained, a line of buffalo rat liver cells (ATCC-BRL-3A); giving the students the opportunity to learn proper sterile techniques for mammalian cell culture. The cells are imaged using fluorescence microscopy at different exposure times. Changes in cell morphology are used to analyze the physical effects the quantum dots had on the cells. Initial results indicate the quantum dot emission intensity was present over a period of several days. To analyze the cellular toxicity MTT and LDH assays will be used to quantify the toxicity after different nanomaterial exposures.