Characterization of aqueous dispersions of Fe3O4 nanoparticles and their biomedical applications

Fong Yu Cheng, Chia Hao Su, Yu Sheng Yang, Chen Sheng Yeh, Chiau Yuang Tsai, Chao Liang Wu, Ming Ting Wu, Dar Bin Shieh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

592 Citations (Scopus)


A newly developed non-polymer coated Fe3O4 nanoparticles showing well-dispersion were synthesized using Fe(II) and Fe(III) salt chemical coprecipitation with tetramethylammonium hydroxide (N(CH 3)4OH) in an aqueous solution. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (FT-IR), X-ray photoelectron spectrometer (XPS) and superconducting quantum interference measurement device (SQUID) measurements were employed to investigate the iron oxide properties. The resulting iron oxide particles were manipulated to be as small as 9nm diameter in size. Based on FT-IR and X-ray photoelectron spectrometer results, it is suggested that the surfaces of the magnetite (Fe3O4) particles are covered with hydroxide (-OH) groups incorporated with (CH3)4N+ through electrostatic interaction. The in vitro cytotoxicity test revealed that the magnetite particles exhibited excellent biocompatibility, suggesting that they may be further explored for biomedical applications. NMR measurements revealed significantly reduced water proton relaxation times T1 and T2. The MR images of the nanoparticles in water, serum, and whole blood were investigated using a 1.5T clinical MR imager. Significant reduction of the background medium signal was achieved in the T2-weighted and the T2*-weighted sequence especially in the serum and whole blood. Combining the advantage of MRI signal contrast, the non-polymer-coated surface chemistry for distinct bioconjugation and the homogenous nanometer size for better controlled biodistribution, these preliminary experiments demonstrated the potential of the as-synthesized magnetite material in functional molecular imaging for biomedical research and clinical diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)729-738
Number of pages10
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

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