Aqueous dispersions of magnetite nanoparticles with NH3 + surfaces for magnetic manipulations of biomolecules and MRI contrast agents

Dar Bin Shieh, Fong Yu Cheng, Chia Hao Su, Chen Sheng Yeh, Ming Ting Wu, Ya Na Wu, Chiau Yuang Tsai, Chao Liang Wu, Dong Hwang Chen, Chen Hsi Chou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Citations (Scopus)


In the current study, amine surface modified iron-oxide nanoparticles of 6 nm diameter without polymer coating were fabricated in an aqueous solution by organic acid modification as an adherent following chemical coprecipitation. Structure and the superparamagnetic property of magnetite nanoparticles were characterized by selected area electron diffraction (SAED) and superconducting quantum interference measurement device (SQUID). X-ray photoelectron spectrometer (XPS) and zeta potential measurements revealed cationic surface mostly decorated with terminal -NH3+. This feature enables them to function as a magnetic carrier for nucleotides via electrostatic interaction. In addition, Fe3O4/trypsin conjugates with well-preserved functional activity was demonstrated. The nanoparticles displayed excellent in vitro biocompatibility. The NMR and the in vitro MRI measurements showed significantly reduced water proton relaxation times of both T1 and T2. Significantly reduced T2 and T 2*-weighted signal intensity were observed in a 1.5 T clinical MR imager. In vivo imaging contrast effect showed a fast and prolonged inverse contrast effect in the liver that lasted for more than 1 week. In addition, it was found that the spherical Fe3O4 assembled as rod-like configuration through an aging process in aqueous solution at room temperature. Interestingly, TEM observation of the liver tissue revealed the rod-like shape but not the spherical-type nanoparticles being taken up by the Kupffer cells 120 h after tail vein infusion. Combining these results, we have demonstrated the potential applications of the newly synthesized magnetite nanoparticles in a broad spectrum of biomedical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7183-7191
Number of pages9
Issue number34
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials


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