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1.  Chitosan-Coated Magnetic Nanoparticles Prepared in One Step by Reverse Microemulsion Precipitation 
Chitosan-coated magnetic nanoparticles (CMNP) were obtained at 70 °C and 80 °C in a one-step method, which comprises precipitation in reverse microemulsion in the presence of low chitosan concentration in the aqueous phase. X-ray diffractometry showed that CMNP obtained at both temperatures contain a mixture of magnetite and maghemite nanoparticles with ≈4.5 nm in average diameter, determined by electron microscopy, which suggests that precipitation temperature does not affect the particle size. The chitosan coating on nanoparticles was inferred from Fourier transform infrared spectrometry measurements; furthermore, the carbon concentration in the nanoparticles allowed an estimation of chitosan content in CMNP of 6%–7%. CMNP exhibit a superparamagnetic behavior with relatively high final magnetization values (≈49–53 emu/g) at 20 kOe and room temperature, probably due to a higher magnetite content in the mixture of magnetic nanoparticles. In addition, a slight direct effect of precipitation temperature on magnetization was identified, which was ascribed to a possible higher degree of nanoparticles crystallinity as temperature at which they are obtained increases. Tested for Pb2+ removal from a Pb(NO3)2 aqueous solution, CMNP showed a recovery efficacy of 100%, which makes them attractive for using in heavy metals ion removal from waste water.
doi:10.3390/ijms141019636
PMCID: PMC3821577  PMID: 24084716
chitosan magnetic nanoparticles; one-step microemulsion precipitation; chitosan low content
2.  Magnetic poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) and cellulose particles for MRI-based cell tracking 
Biodegradable, superparamagnetic micro- and nanoparticles of poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) and cellulose were designed, fabricated and characterized for magnetic cell labeling. Monodisperse nanocrystals of magnetite were incorporated into micro- and nanoparticles of PLGA and cellulose with high efficiency using an oil-in-water single emulsion technique. Superparamagnetic cores had high magnetization (72.1 emu/g). The resulting polymeric particles had smooth surface morphology and high magnetite content (43.3 wt% for PLGA and 69.6 wt% for cellulose). While PLGA and cellulose nanoparticles displayed highest r2* values per millimole of iron (399 s-1mM-1 for cellulose and 505 s-1mM-1 for PLGA), micron-sized PLGA particles had a much higher r2* per particle than either. After incubation for a month in citrate buffer (pH 5.5), magnetic PLGA particles lost close to 50% of their initial r2* molar relaxivity, while magnetic cellulose particles remained intact, preserving over 85% of their initial r2* molar relaxivity. Lastly, mesenchymal stem cells and human breast adenocarcinoma cells were magnetically labeled using these particles with no detectable cytotoxicity. These particles are ideally suited for non-invasive cell tracking in vivo via MRI and due to their vastly different degradation properties, offer unique potential for dedicated use for either short (PLGA-based particles) or long term (cellulose-based particles) experiments.
doi:10.1002/mrm.22765
PMCID: PMC3097259  PMID: 21404328
3.  Monodisperse Magnetite Nanoparticles Coupled with Nuclear Localization Signal Peptide for Cell-Nucleus Targeting 
Chemistry, an Asian journal  2008;3(3):548-552.
Functionalization of monodisperse superparamagnetic magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles for cell specific targeting is crucial for cancer diagnostics and therapeutics. Targeted magnetic nanoparticles can be used to enhance the tissue contrast in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to improve the efficiency in anticancer drug delivery, and to eliminate tumor cells by magnetic fluid hyperthermia. Herein we report the nucleus-targeting Fe3O4 nanoparticles functionalized with protein and nuclear localization signal (NLS) peptide. These NLS-coated nanoparticles were introduced into the HeLa cell cytoplasm and nucleus, where the particles were monodispersed and non-aggregated. The success of labeling was examined and identified by fluorescence microscopy and MRI. The work demonstrates that monodisperse magnetic nanoparticles can be readily functionalized and stabilized for potential diagnostic and therapeutic applications.
doi:10.1002/asia.200700301
PMCID: PMC2692425  PMID: 18080259
cell imaging; magnetic resonance imaging; magnetite; nanoparticles
4.  Magnetically driven plasmid DNA delivery with biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles 
The FASEB Journal  2007;21(10):2510-2519.
Targeting gene therapy remains a challenge. The use of magnetic force to achieve this was investigated in the present study. It was hypothesized that nanoparticles with both controllable particle size and magnetic properties would enable magnetically driven gene delivery. We investigated this hypothesis by creating a family of novel biodegradable polymeric superparamagnetic nanoparticle (MNP) formulations. Polylactide MNP were formulated using a modified emulsification-solvent evaporation methodology with both the incorporation of oleate-coated iron oxide and a polyethylenimine (PEI) oleate ion-pair surface modification for DNA binding. MNP size could be controlled by varying the proportion of the tetrahydrofuran cosolvent. Magnetically driven MNP-mediated gene transfer was studied using a green fluorescent protein reporter plasmid in cultured arterial smooth muscle cells and endothelial cells. MNP-DNA internalization and trafficking were examined by confocal microscopy. Cell growth inhibition after MNP-mediated adiponectin plasmid transfection was studied as an example of a therapeutic end point. MNP-DNA complexes protected DNA from degradation and efficiently transfected quiescent cells under both low and high serum conditions after a 15 min exposure to a magnetic field (500 G). There was negligible transfection with MNP in the absence of a magnetic field. Larger sized MNP (375 nm diameter) exhibited higher transfection rates compared with 185 nm- and 240 nm-sized MNP. Internalized larger sized MNP escaped lysosomal localization and released DNA in the perinuclear zone. Adiponectin plasmid DNA delivery using MNP resulted in a dose-dependent growth inhibition of cultured arterial smooth muscle cells. It is concluded that magnetically driven plasmid DNA delivery can be achieved using biodegradable MNP containing oleate-coated magnetite and surface modified with PEI oleate ion-pair complexes that enable DNA binding.
doi:10.1096/fj.06-8070com
PMCID: PMC3378388  PMID: 17403937
GFP plasmid; magnetic nanoparticles; ion-pair complex; polyethylenimine; adiponectin
5.  Cytotoxicity of iron oxide nanoparticles made from the thermal decomposition of organometallics and aqueous phase transfer with Pluronic F127 
Magnetic nanoparticles are promising molecular imaging agents due to their relative high relaxivity and the potential to modify surface functionality to tailor biodistribution. In this work we describe the synthesis of magnetic nanoparticles using organic solvents with organometallic precursors. This method results in nanoparticles that are highly crystalline, and have uniform size and shape. The ability to create a monodispersion of particles of the same size and shape results in unique magnetic properties that can be useful for biomedical applications with MR imaging. Before these nanoparticles can be used in biological applications, however, means are needed to make the nanoparticles soluble in aqueous solutions and the toxicity of these nanoparticles needs to be studied.
We have developed two methods to surface modify and transfer these nanoparticles to the aqueous phase using the biocompatible co-polymer, Pluronic F127. Cytotoxicity was found to be dependent on the coating procedure used. Nanoparticle effects on a cell-culture model was quantified using concurrent assaying; a LDH assay to determine cytotoxicity and an MTS assay to determine viability for a 24 hour incubation period. Concurrent assaying was done to insure that nanoparticles did not interfere with the colorimetric assay results.
This report demonstrates that a monodispersion of nanoparticles of uniform size and shape can be manufactured. Initial cytotoxicity testing of new molecular imaging agents need to be carefully constructed to avoid interference and erroneous results.
doi:10.1002/cmmi.391
PMCID: PMC3020093  PMID: 20623517
MRI; molecular imaging; nanoparticles; superparamagnetic agents; cytotoxicity; Colorimetric Assay; Pluronics
6.  Immobilization of magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles on laponite discs – an easy way to biocompatible ferrofluids and ferrogels 
Journal of materials chemistry  2010;20(26):5418-5428.
Magnetic nanocomposites containing iron oxide (maghemite) nanoparticles, well embedded in a synthetic clay matrix (laponite) were prepared by a new one step chemical route and characterized by TEM, XRD, magnetization measurements, Mössbauer spectroscopy, DLS, and MRI measurements. The synthetic procedure leads to non-stoichiometric γ-Fe2O3 with a controllable content in the nanocomposite. Magnetic nanoparticles incorporated in the diamagnetic clay matrix exhibit a mean diameter of 13 nm, superparamagnetic behavior with a high saturation magnetization achievable at low applied magnetic fields. In-field Mössbauer spectra and ZFC/FC magnetization curves reveal a perfect ferrimagnetic ordering within nanoparticles with negligible spin frustration and interparticle interactions due to the complete coating of maghemite surfaces by the nanocrystalline laponite matrix. Magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles embedded in laponite matrix exhibit strong T2 weighted MRI contrast. The maghemite/laponite composite particles have 200 nm hydrodynamic diameter and form very stable hydrosols and/or hydrogels depending on their concentration in water.
doi:10.1039/c0jm00061b
PMCID: PMC2889675  PMID: 20582149
γ-Fe2O3; nanoparticles; ferrofluids; hydrogels; laponite; nanocomposites; magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
7.  PEG Coating Reduces NMR Relaxivity of Mn0.5Zn0.5Gd0.02Fe1.98O4 Hyperthermia Nanoparticles 
Purpose
To investigate both T1 and T2 MR relaxation enhancement of Gd substituted Zn-Mn ferrite magnetic nanoparticles. Both uncoated and polyethylene glycol (PEG) coated particles were used.
Materials and Methods
Chemical co-precipitation was used to synthesize particles in the form Mn0.5Zn0.5Gd0.02Fe1.98O4 suitable for hyperthermia applications. Physical characterization of the magnetic nanoparticles included SEM, TEM, ICP, and SQUID. T1 and T2 measurements were performed at 1.5 T.
Results
The saturation magnetization was 12.86 emu/g while the particle’s magnetic moment was 1.86 × 10−19 J/T. The particle size increased due to coating, while 1/T1 and 1/T2 relaxivities (26 °C) decreased from 2.5 to 0.7 and from 201.3 to 76.6 s−1 mM−1, respectively at a magnetic field 1.5 T.
Conclusion
The reduction in both 1/T1 and 1/T2 is attributed to increased distance of closest approach between the protons and the magnetic core caused by the shielding provided by the high molecular weight PEG. 1/T2 data is compared to existing theoretical models using a modified radius that takes into account both possible agglomeration of the particles and increased inter-particle separation induced by PEG coating.
doi:10.1002/jmri.22703
PMCID: PMC3195992  PMID: 21928382
nanoparticles; NMR relaxation; coating; contrast agents; susceptibility
8.  Carbon-coated iron oxide nanoparticles as contrast agents in magnetic resonance imaging 
Coprecipitated ferrite nanoparticles were coated with carbon using a hydrothermal method. From transmission electron microscope pictures, we could see that the coated iron oxide nanoparticles were spherical in shape with an average diameter of 90 nm. The strong bonding of carbon on the nanoparticle surfaces was checked by noting the C = O and C = C vibrations in Fourier transform infrared spectra. The spin-lattice relaxation process [T1] and spin-spin relaxation process [T2] relaxivities of hydrogen protons in the aqueous solution of coated nanoparticles were determined to be 1.139 (mM·s)-1 and 1.115 (mM·s)-1, respectively. These results showed that the carbon-coated iron oxide nanoparticles are applicable as both T1 and T2 contrast agents in magnetic resonance imaging.
PACS: 81.05.y; 76.60.Es; 61.46; 75.50.k; 87.61.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-44
PMCID: PMC3398329  PMID: 22221912
iron oxide nanoparticles; carbon-coated nanoparticles; relaxivity; MRI
9.  Gold-Coated Iron Composite Nanospheres Targeted the Detection of Escherichia coli 
We report the preparation and characterization of spherical core-shell structured Fe3O4–Au magnetic nanoparticles, modified with two component self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) consisting of 3–mercaptophenylboronic acid (3–MBA) and 1–decanethiol (1–DT). The rapid and room temperature synthesis of magnetic nanoparticles was achieved using the hydroxylamine reduction of HAuCl4 on the surface of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA)-immobilized iron (magnetite Fe3O4) nanoparticles in the presence of an aqueous solution of hexadecyltrimetylammonium bromide (CTAB) as a dispersant. The reduction of gold on the surface of Fe3O4 nanoparticles exhibits a uniform, highly stable, and narrow particle size distribution of Fe3O4–Au nanoparticles with an average diameter of 9 ± 2 nm. The saturation magnetization value for the resulting nanoparticles was found to be 15 emu/g at 298 K. Subsequent surface modification with SAMs against glucoside moieties on the surface of bacteria provided effective magnetic separation. Comparison of the bacteria capturing efficiency, by means of different molecular recognition agents 3–MBA, 1–DT and the mixed monolayer of 3–MBA and 1–DT was presented. The best capturing efficiency of E. coli was achieved with the mixed monolayer of 3–MBA and 1–DT-modified nanoparticles. Molecular specificity and selectivity were also demonstrated by comparing the surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectrum of E. coli-nanoparticle conjugates with bacterial growth media.
doi:10.3390/ijms14036223
PMCID: PMC3634437  PMID: 23507756
magnetic gold nanoparticle; SERS; immunomagnetic separation; E. coli; surface functionalisation of particles
10.  Porphyrin-magnetite nanoconjugates for biological imaging 
Background
The use of silica coated magnetic nanoparticles as contrast agents has resulted in the production of highly stable, non-toxic solutions that can be manipulated via an external magnetic field. As a result, the interaction of these nanocomposites with cells is of vital importance in understanding their behaviour and biocompatibility. Here we report the preparation, characterisation and potential application of new "two-in-one" magnetic fluorescent nanocomposites composed of silica-coated magnetite nanoparticles covalently linked to a porphyrin moiety.
Method
The experiments were performed by administering porphyrin functionalised silica-coated magnetite nanoparticles to THP-1 cells, a human acute monocytic leukaemia cell line. Cells were cultured in RPMI 1640 medium with 25 mM HEPES supplemented with heat-inactivated foetal bovine serum (FBS).
Results
We have synthesised, characterised and analysed in vitro, a new multimodal (magnetic and fluorescent) porphyrin magnetic nanoparticle composite (PMNC). Initial co-incubation experiments performed with THP-1 macrophage cells were promising; however the PMNC photobleached under confocal microscopy study. β-mercaptoethanol (β-ME) was employed to counteract this problem and resulted not only in enhanced fluorescence emission, but also allowed for elongated imaging and increased exposure times of the PMNC in a cellular environment.
Conclusion
Our experiments have demonstrated that β-ME visibly enhances the emission intensity. No deleterious effects to the cells were witnessed upon co-incubation with β-ME alone and no increases in background fluorescence were recorded. These results should present an interest for further development of in vitro biological imaging techniques.
doi:10.1186/1477-3155-9-13
PMCID: PMC3090322  PMID: 21477294
11.  Optimized Anti-pathogenic Agents Based on Core/Shell Nanostructures and 2-((4-Ethylphenoxy)ethyl)-N-(substituted-phenylcarbamothioyl)-benzamides 
The purpose of this study was to design a new nanosystem for catheter surface functionalization with an improved resistance to Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923 and Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 27853 colonization and subsequent biofilm development. New 2-((4-ethylphenoxy)methyl)-N-(substituted-phenylcarbamothioyl)-benzamides were synthesized and used for coating a core/shell nanostructure. Their chemical structures were elucidated by NMR, IR and elemental analysis, being in agreement with the proposed ones. Fe3O4/C12 of up to 5 nm size had been synthesized with lauric acid as a coating agent and characterized by XRD, FT-IR, TGA, TEM and biological assays. The catheter pieces were coated with the fabricated nanofluid in magnetic field. The microbial adherence ability was investigated in 6 multiwell plates by using culture based methods and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). The nanoparticles coated with the obtained compounds 1a–c inhibited the adherence and biofilm development ability of the S. aureus and P. aeruginosa tested strains on the catheter functionalized surface, as shown by the reduction of viable cell counts and SEM examination of the biofilm architecture. Using the novel core/shell/adsorption-shell to inhibit the microbial adherence could be of a great interest for the biomedical field, opening new directions for the design of film-coated surfaces with improved anti-biofilm properties.
doi:10.3390/ijms131012584
PMCID: PMC3497289  PMID: 23202915
benzamides; thiourea derivatives; core/shell nanostructure; magnetite; anti-biofilm; biointerface application
12.  Gum Arabic-Coated Magnetic Nanoparticles for Potential Application in Simultaneous Magnetic Targeting and Tumor Imaging 
The AAPS Journal  2009;11(4):693-699.
Magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (MNP) coated with gum arabic (GA), a biocompatible phytochemical glycoprotein widely used in the food industry, were successfully synthesized and characterized. GA-coated MNP (GA-MNP) displayed a narrow hydrodynamic particle size distribution averaging about 100 nm; a GA content of 15.6% by dry weight; a saturation magnetization of 93.1 emu/g Fe; and a superparamagnetic behavior essential for most magnetic-mediated applications. The GA coating offers two major benefits: it both enhances colloidal stability and provides reactive functional groups suitable for coupling of bioactive compounds. In vitro results showed that GA-MNP possessed a superior stability upon storage in aqueous media when compared to commercial MNP products currently used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In addition, significant cellular uptake of GA-MNP was evaluated in 9L glioma cells by electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy, fluorescence microscopy, and MRI analyses. Based on these findings, it was hypothesized that GA-MNP might be utilized as a MRI-visible drug carrier in achieving both magnetic tumor targeting and intracellular drug delivery. Indeed, preliminary in vivo investigations validate this clinical potential. MRI visually confirmed the accumulation of GA-MNP at the tumor site following intravenous administration to rats harboring 9L glioma tumors under the application of an external magnetic field. ESR spectroscopy quantitatively revealed a 12-fold increase in GA-MNP accumulation in excised tumors when compared to contralateral normal brain. Overall, the results presented show promise that GA-MNP could potentially be employed to achieve simultaneous tumor imaging and targeted intra-tumoral drug delivery.
doi:10.1208/s12248-009-9151-y
PMCID: PMC2782085  PMID: 19842043
brain tumor; drug delivery; gum arabic; magnetic nanoparticle; magnetic targeting
13.  Surface Functionalization of Magnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles for MRI Applications – Effect of Anchoring Group and Ligand Exchange Protocol 
Hydrophobic magnetite nanoparticles synthesized from thermal decomposition of iron salts must be rendered hydrophilic for their application as MRI contrast agents. This process requires refunctionalizing the surface of the nanoparticles with a hydrophilic organic coating such as polyethylene glycol. Two parameters were found to influence the magnetic behavior and relaxivity of the resulting hydrophilic iron oxide nanoparticles: the functionality of the anchoring group and the protocol followed for the functionalization. Nanoparticles coated with PEGs via a catecholate-type anchoring moiety maintain the saturation magnetization and relaxivity of the hydrophobic magnetite precursor. Other anchoring functionalities, such as phosphonate, carboxylate, and dopamine decrease the magnetization and relaxivity of the contrast agent. The protocol for functionalizing the nanoparticles also influences the magnetic behavior of the material. Nanoparticles refunctionalized according to a direct biphasic protocol exhibit higher relaxivity than those refunctionalized according to a two-step procedure which first involves stripping the nanoparticles. This research presents the first systematic study of both the binding moiety and the functionalization protocol on the relaxivity and magnetization of water-soluble coated iron oxide nanoparticles used as MRI contrast agents.
doi:10.1002/cmmi.417
PMCID: PMC3123420  PMID: 21861279
MRI; contrast agent; MION; iron oxide nanoparticles; superparamagnetic agents; surface functionalization; relaxivity; magnetism
14.  Biodesulfurization in Biphasic Systems Containing Organic Solvents†  
Biphasic systems can overcome the problem of low productivity in conventional media and have been exploited for biocatalysis. Solvent-tolerant microorganisms are useful in biotransformation with whole cells in biphasic reactions. A solvent-tolerant desulfurizing bacterium, Pseudomonas putida A4, was constructed by introducing the biodesulfurizing gene cluster dszABCD, which was from Rhodococcus erythropolis XP, into the solvent-tolerant strain P. putida Idaho. Biphasic reactions were performed to investigate the desulfurization of various sulfur-containing heterocyclic compounds in the presence of various organic solvents. P. putida A4 had the same substrate range as R. erythropolis XP and could degrade dibenzothiophene at a specific rate of 1.29 mM g (dry weight) of cells−1 h−1 for the first 2 h in the presence of 10% (vol/vol) p-xylene. P. putida A4 was also able to degrade dibenzothiophene in the presence of many other organic solvents at a concentration of 10% (vol/vol). This study is a significant step in the exploration of the biotechnological potential of novel biocatalysts for developing an efficient biodesulfurization process in biphasic reaction mixtures containing toxic organic solvents.
doi:10.1128/AEM.00081-06
PMCID: PMC1489339  PMID: 16820450
15.  Bleomycin Loaded Magnetite Nanoparticles Functionalized by Polyacrylic Acid as a New Antitumoral Drug Delivery System 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:462589.
Objective. To prepare, characterize, and analyze the release behavior of bleomycin-loaded magnetite nanoparticles (BLM-MNPs) coated with polyacrylic acid (PAA) as a new drug delivery system that can be specifically distributed in the tumor site. Methods. BLM-MNPs coated with PAA were prepared using a solvothermal approach. The particles were characterized using scanning electron microscope (SEM), vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The loading and release behaviors of BLM-MNPs were examined by a mathematical formula and in vitro release profile at pH 7.5. Results. The sphere Fe3O4 nanoparticles with the size of approximately 30 nm exhibit a saturation magnetization of 87 emu/g. The noncoordinated carboxylate groups of PAA confer on the good dispersibility in the aqueous solution and lead to a good loading efficiency of BLM reaching 50% or higher. Approximately 98% of immobilized BLM could be released within 24 h, of which 22.4% was released in the first hour and then the remaining was released slowly and quantitatively in the next 23 hours. Conclusion. BLM-MNPs were prepared and characterized successfully. The particles show high saturation magnetization, high drug loading capacity, and favorable release property, which could contribute to the specific delivery and controllable release of BLM, and the BLM-MNPs could be a potential candidate for the development of treating solid tumors.
doi:10.1155/2013/462589
PMCID: PMC3747614  PMID: 23998124
16.  Gold-silver alloy nanoshells: a new candidate for nanotherapeutics and diagnostics 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2011;6(1):554.
We have developed novel gold-silver alloy nanoshells as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) dual T1 (positive) and T2 (negative) contrast agents as an alternative to typical gadolinium (Gd)-based contrast agents. Specifically, we have doped iron oxide nanoparticles with Gd ions and sequestered the ions within the core by coating the nanoparticles with an alloy of gold and silver. Thus, these nanoparticles are very innovative and have the potential to overcome toxicities related to renal clearance of contrast agents such as nephrogenic systemic fibrosis. The morphology of the attained nanoparticles was characterized by XRD which demonstrated the successful incorporation of Gd(III) ions into the structure of the magnetite, with no major alterations of the spinel structure, as well as the growth of the gold-silver alloy shells. This was supported by TEM, ICP-AES, and SEM/EDS data. The nanoshells showed a saturation magnetization of 38 emu/g because of the presence of Gd ions within the crystalline structure with r1 and r2 values of 0.0119 and 0.9229 mL mg-1 s-1, respectively (Au:Ag alloy = 1:1). T1- and T2-weighted images of the nanoshells showed that these agents can both increase the surrounding water proton signals in the T1-weighted image and reduce the signal in T2-weighted images. The as-synthesized nanoparticles exhibited strong absorption in the range of 600-800 nm, their optical properties being strongly dependent upon the thickness of the gold-silver alloy shell. Thus, these nanoshells have the potential to be utilized for tumor cell ablation because of their absorption as well as an imaging agent.
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-554
PMCID: PMC3212091  PMID: 21995302
17.  Response surface analysis of photocatalytic degradation of methyl tert-butyl ether by core/shell Fe3O4/ZnO nanoparticles 
The degradation of methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) was investigated in the aqueous solution of coated ZnO onto magnetite nanoparticale based on an advanced photocatalytic oxidation process. The photocatalysts were synthesized by coating of ZnO onto magnetite using precipitation method. The sample was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and vibration sample magnetometer (VSM). Besides, specific surface area was also determined by BET method. The four effective factors including pH of the reaction mixture, Fe3O4/ZnO magnetic nanoparticles concentration, initial MTBE concentration and molar ratio of [H2O2]/ [MTBE] were optimized using response surface modeling (RSM). Using the four-factor-three-level Box–Behnken design, 29 runs were designed considering the effective ranges of the influential factors. The optimized values for the operational parameters under the respective constraints were obtained at PH of 7.2, Fe3O4/ZnO concentration of 1.78 g/L, initial MTBE concentration of 89.14 mg/L and [H2O2]/ [MTBE] molar ratio of 2.33. Moreover, kinetics of MTBE degradation was determined under optimum condition. The study about core/shell magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) recycling were also carried out and after about four times, the percentage of the photocatalytic degradation was about 70%.
doi:10.1186/2052-336X-12-1
PMCID: PMC3937170  PMID: 24393372
Fe3O4/ZnO nanoparticles; Photocatalytic degradation; MTBE; Response surface modeling
18.  In Situ Mineralization of Magnetite Nanoparticles in Chitosan Hydrogel 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2009;4(9):1041-1046.
Based on chelation effect between iron ions and amino groups of chitosan, in situ mineralization of magnetite nanoparticles in chitosan hydrogel under ambient conditions was proposed. The chelation effect between iron ions and amino groups in CS–Fe complex, which led to that chitosan hydrogel exerted a crucial control on the magnetite mineralization, was proved by X-ray photoelectron spectrum. The composition, morphology and size of the mineralized magnetite nanoparticles were characterized by X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy and thermal gravity. The mineralized nanoparticles were nonstoichiometric magnetite with a unit formula of Fe2.85O4 and coated by a thin layer of chitosan. The mineralized magnetite nanoparticles with mean diameter of 13 nm dispersed in chitosan hydrogel uniformly. Magnetization measurement indicated that superparamagnetism behavior was exhibited. These magnetite nanoparticles mineralized in chitosan hydrogel have potential applications in the field of biotechnology. Moreover, this method can also be used to synthesize other kinds of inorganic nanoparticles, such as ZnO, Fe2O3 and hydroxyapatite.
doi:10.1007/s11671-009-9355-1
PMCID: PMC2894183  PMID: 20596346
Chitosan hydrogel; Magnetite; Mineralization; Chelation
19.  In Situ Mineralization of Magnetite Nanoparticles in Chitosan Hydrogel 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2009;4(9):1041-1046.
Based on chelation effect between iron ions and amino groups of chitosan, in situ mineralization of magnetite nanoparticles in chitosan hydrogel under ambient conditions was proposed. The chelation effect between iron ions and amino groups in CS–Fe complex, which led to that chitosan hydrogel exerted a crucial control on the magnetite mineralization, was proved by X-ray photoelectron spectrum. The composition, morphology and size of the mineralized magnetite nanoparticles were characterized by X-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy and thermal gravity. The mineralized nanoparticles were nonstoichiometric magnetite with a unit formula of Fe2.85O4and coated by a thin layer of chitosan. The mineralized magnetite nanoparticles with mean diameter of 13 nm dispersed in chitosan hydrogel uniformly. Magnetization measurement indicated that superparamagnetism behavior was exhibited. These magnetite nanoparticles mineralized in chitosan hydrogel have potential applications in the field of biotechnology. Moreover, this method can also be used to synthesize other kinds of inorganic nanoparticles, such as ZnO, Fe2O3and hydroxyapatite.
doi:10.1007/s11671-009-9355-1
PMCID: PMC2894183  PMID: 20596346
Chitosan hydrogel; Magnetite; Mineralization; Chelation
20.  Mouse lymphatic endothelial cell targeted probes: anti-LYVE-1 antibody-based magnetic nanoparticles 
Purpose
To investigate the specific targeting property of lymphatic vessel endothelial hyaluronan receptor-1 binding polyethylene glycol-coated ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide (LYVE-1-PEG-USPIO) nanoparticles to mouse lymphatic endothelial cells (MLECs).
Methods
A ligand specific target to lymphatic vessels was selected by immunohistochemical staining on the sections of a Lewis subcutaneous transplanted tumor. The z-average hydrodynamic diameter (HD), zeta potential, and the relaxivity of PEG-USPIO and LYVE-1-PEG-USPIO nanoparticles were determined with a laser particle analyzer and magnetic resonance T2 spin echo sequence, respectively. Prussian blue staining and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) of nanoparticle labeled cells were performed to determine the nanoparticles’ binding form. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed in vitro to evaluate the signal enhancement on the T2 spin echo sequence of the nanoparticle labeled cells. The iron content of the labeled cells after the Prussian blue staining and MRI scanning was determined by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS).
Results
The anti-LYVE-1 antibody was used as the specific ligand to synthesize the target probe to the MLECs. The mean z-average HDs of the LYVE-1-PEG-USPIO and PEG-USPIO nanoparticles were 57.42 ± 0.31 nm and 47.91 ± 0.73 nm, respectively, and the mean zeta potentials of the LYVE-1-PEG-USPIO and PEG-USPIO nanoparticles were 12.38 ± 4.87 mV and 2.57 ± 0.83 m V, respectively. The relaxivities of the LYVE-1-PEG-USPIO and PEG-USPIO nanoparticles were 185.48 mM−1s−1 and 608.32 mM−1s−1. Cells binding nanoparticles were visualized as blue granules in the Prussian blue staining. The TEM results of the labeled cells showed the specific localization of nanoparticles. The AAS results of labeled cells after the Prussian blue staining and MRI scanning showed that the LYVE-1-PEG-USPIO nanoparticles had good binding selectivity for MLECs. MRI results indicated that the PEG-USPIO and LYVE-1-PEG-USPIO nanoparticles could generate contrast on T2-weighted imaging, and the correlation between R2 and the iron content of the labeled cells was significantly positive.
Conclusion
This study demonstrated that LYVE-1-PEG-USPIO nanoparticles might potentially be used as an MRI contrast agent for targeting MLECs, and the magnetic properties of LYVE-1-PEG-USPIO nanoparticles were suitable for MRI.
doi:10.2147/IJN.S45817
PMCID: PMC3693816  PMID: 23818783
nanoparticles; lymphatic vessel endothelial hyaluronan receptor-1 (LYVE-1); ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide (USPIO); mouse lymphatic endothelial cells (MLECs); magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
21.  Synthesis and characterization of multifunctional silica core–shell nanocomposites with magnetic and fluorescent functionalities 
Multifunctional core–shell nanocomposites with a magnetic core and a silica shell doped with lanthanide chelate have been prepared by a simple method. First, citric acid-modified magnetite nanoparticles were synthesized by a chemical coprecipitation method. Then the magnetite nanoparticles were coated with silica shells doped with terbium (Tb3+) complex by a modified Stöber method based on hydrolyzing and condensation of tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) and a silane precursor. These multifunctional nanocomposites are potentially useful in a variety of biological areas such as bio-imaging, bio-labeling and bioassays because they can be simultaneously manipulated with an external magnetic field and exhibit unique phosphorescence properties.
doi:10.1016/j.jmmm.2009.02.040
PMCID: PMC2844650  PMID: 20336173
Multifunctional nanocomposite; Magnetite nanoparticle; Silica; Lanthanide chelate; Core–shell structure
22.  Compact Zwitterion-coated Iron Oxide Nanoparticles for In Vitro and In Vivo Imaging 
We have recently developed compact and water-soluble zwitterionic dopamine sulfonate (ZDS) ligand coated superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) for use in various biomedical applications. The defining characteristics of ZDS-coated SPIONs are small hydrodynamic diameters, low non-specific interactions with fetal bovine serum, the opportunity for specific labeling, and stability with respect to time, pH, and salinity. We report here on the magnetic characterization of ZDS-coated SPIONs and their in vitro and in vivo performance relative to non-specific interactions with HeLa cells and in mice, respectively. ZDS-coated SPIONs retained the superparamagnetism and saturation magnetization (Ms) of as-synthesized hydrophobic SPIONs, with Ms=74 emu/g [Fe]. Moreover, ZDS-coated SPIONs showed only small non-specific uptake into HeLa cancer cells in vitro and low non-specific binding to serum proteins in vivo in mice.
doi:10.1039/c2ib20142a
PMCID: PMC3524371  PMID: 23042209
23.  The Artificial Peroxidase Activity of Magnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles and its Application to Glucose Detection 
Biomaterials  2009;30(27):4716-4722.
Aside from their superparamagnetic properties exploited in clinical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), it was recently discovered that magnetic, iron oxide nanoparticles could function as an artificial, inorganic peroxidase. In this paper, we studied the impact of coating on the peroxidase activity of these nanoparticles. Nanoparticles with six different coating structures were synthesized and characterized by FTIR, TGA, TEM, size, zeta potential, and SQUID; and evaluated for peroxidase activity. Catalysis was found to follow Michaelis-Menten kinetics and peroxidase activity varied with respect to electrostatic affinity between nanoparticles and substrates, evidenced by differences in determined kinetic parameters. Glucose detection was selected as a model system because glucose could be indirectly measured from the release of hydrogen peroxide after its oxidation. Nanoparticles with high peroxidase activity exhibited higher sensitivity toward glucose, showing a larger linear slope when compared with those of low activity. A significantly improved linear correlation and detection limit of measured glucose could be readily obtained by manipulating the nanoparticle coating. Our findings suggest that iron oxide nanoparticles can be tailor-made to possess improved peroxidase-like activity. Such enhancements could further widen nanoparticle scope in glucose detection and extend its peroxidase functionality to other biomedical applications.
doi:10.1016/j.biomaterials.2009.05.005
PMCID: PMC3252767  PMID: 19515418
Superparamagnetic nanoparticle; Iron oxide; Peroxidase; Glucose Detection
24.  Synthesis of Co/MFe2O4 (M = Fe, Mn) Core/Shell Nanocomposite Particles 
Journal of solid state chemistry  2008;181(7):1560-1564.
Monodispersed cobalt nanoparticles (NPs) with controllable size (8–14 nm) have been synthesized using thermal decomposition of dicobaltoctacarbonyl in organic solvent. The as-synthesized high magnetic moment (125 emu/g) Co NPs are dispersible in various organic solvents, and can be easily transferred into aqueous phase by surface modification using phospholipids. However, the modified hydrophilic Co NPs are not stable as they are quickly oxidized, agglomerated in buffer. Co NPs are stabilized by coating the MFe2O4 (M = Fe, Mn) ferrite shell. Core/shell structured bimagnetic Co/MFe2O4 nanocomposites are prepared with tunable shell thickness (1–5 nm). The Co/MFe2O4 nanocomposites retain the high magnetic moment density from the Co core, while gaining chemical and magnetic stability from the ferrite shell. Comparing to Co NPs, the nanocomposites show much enhanced stability in buffer solution at elevated temperatures, making them promising for biomedical applications.
doi:10.1016/j.jssc.2008.03.024
PMCID: PMC2583447  PMID: 19122843
Nanocomposites; Cobalt nanoparticles; Core/shell structure; Ferrite; Biomedical applications; Synthesis; Surface modification
25.  Quantification of the internalization patterns of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles with opposite charge 
Time-resolved quantitative colocalization analysis is a method based on confocal fluorescence microscopy allowing for a sophisticated characterization of nanomaterials with respect to their intracellular trafficking. This technique was applied to relate the internalization patterns of nanoparticles i.e. superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles with distinct physicochemical characteristics with their uptake mechanism, rate and intracellular fate.
The physicochemical characterization of the nanoparticles showed particles of approximately the same size and shape as well as similar magnetic properties, only differing in charge due to different surface coatings. Incubation of the cells with both nanoparticles resulted in strong differences in the internalization rate and in the intracellular localization depending on the charge. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of nanoparticles-organelle colocalization experiments revealed that positively charged particles were found to enter the cells faster using different endocytotic pathways than their negative counterparts. Nevertheless, both nanoparticles species were finally enriched inside lysosomal structures and their efficiency in agarose phantom relaxometry experiments was very similar.
This quantitative analysis demonstrates that charge is a key factor influencing the nanoparticle-cell interactions, specially their intracellular accumulation. Despite differences in their physicochemical properties and intracellular distribution, the efficiencies of both nanoparticles as MRI agents were not significantly different.
doi:10.1186/1477-3155-10-28
PMCID: PMC3431280  PMID: 22781560
Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs); Intracellular distribution; Charge; Coating; Size; Quantitative correlation analysis; Colocalization

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