Effect of surface modification on magnetization of iron oxide nanoparticle colloids

Y. Yuan, D. Rende, C.L. Altan, S. Bucak, R. Ozisik, D.-A. Borca-Tasciuc

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Abstract

Magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles have numerous applications in the biomedical field, some more mature, such as contrast agents in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and some emerging, such as heating agents in hyperthermia for cancer therapy. In all of these applications, the magnetic particles are coated with surfactants and polymers to enhance biocompatibility, prevent agglomeration, and add functionality. However, the coatings may interact with the surface atoms of the magnetic core and form a magnetically disordered layer, reducing the total amount of the magnetic phase, which is the key parameter in many applications. In the current study, amine and carboxyl functionalized and bare iron oxide nanoparticles, all suspended in water, were purchased and characterized. The presence of the coatings in commercial samples was verified with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The class of iron oxide (magnetite) was verified via Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. In addition to these, in-house prepared iron oxide nanoparticles coated with oleic acid and suspended in heptane and hexane were also investigated. The saturation magnetization obtained from vibrating sample magnetometry (VSM) measurements was used to determine the effective concentration of magnetic phase in all samples. The Tiron chelation test was then utilized to check the real concentration of the iron oxide in the suspension. The difference between the concentration results from VSM and the Tiron test confirmed the reduction of magnetic phase of magnetic core in the presence of coatings and different suspension media. For the biocompatible coatings, the largest reduction was experienced by amine particles, where the ratio of the effective weight of magnetic phase reported to the real weight was 0.5. Carboxyl-coated samples experienced smaller reduction with a ratio of 0.64. Uncoated sample also exhibits a reduction with a ratio of 0.6. Oleic acid covered samples show a solvent-depended reduction with a ratio of 0.5 in heptane and 0.4 in hexane. The corresponding effective thickness of the nonmagnetic layer between magnetic core and surface coating was calculated by fitting experimentally measured magnetization to the modified Langevin equation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13051-13059
JournalLangmuir
Volume28
Issue number36
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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