The design and utility of polymer-stabilized iron-oxide nanoparticles for nanomedicine applications

  • Boyer C
  • Whittaker M
  • Bulmus V
 et al. 
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Abstract

Over the past. decade, the synthesis of superparamagnetic nanoparticles,
especially iron-oxide nanoparticles (IONPs), has been researched
intensively for many high-technology applications, including enhanced
storage media, biosensing and medical applications. In medicine, IONPs
are used as contrast agents in magnetic resonance imaging and in
hyperthermia therapy, and can also be exploited in drug or gene delivery
as they are relatively non-toxic. However, their usage in vivo is
limited by their agglomeration in biological fluids induced by their
high surface energies and tendency to adsorb proteins. The addition of a
polymer layer to the surface of IONPs can stabilize these nanoparticles,
giving well-dispersed individual nanoparticles in biological fluids for
in vitro and in vivo applications, thereby increasing the blood
circulation half-life. Moreover, the polymer layer can endow the IONPs
with functionality, providing a scaffold for the encapsulation or
attachment of therapeutic agents (drugs or genes), targeting agents and
permeation enhancers. This review examines recent advancements in the
use of IONPs in medicine, a field that has been particularly active in
the last few years.

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