Methods of Synthesizing of Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles and their Surface Modifications for Drug Delivery: A Review

  • Wesam Ahmed Tawfik Nakaa Nanotechnology Network NNN, an affiliate of Naqaa Foundation for Scientific Research, Egypt; Holding Company of Biological Products and Vaccines, VACSERA, Egypt.
Keywords: Magnetite, Superparamagnetic nanoparticles, surface modification.


The aim of this review article is to report the different known methods for the preparation of nanoparticles of iron oxide Magnetite (Fe3O4) and their applications in drug delivery besides indicating the nanoparticles surface availability for any required chemical modifications which allows the particle for a very wide range of medical applications from diagnosis to therapy. The recent development of biocompatible, functionalized ferrofluids and ferromagnetic particles has directed to a range of novel biomedical and diagnostic applications. The synthesis of nanoparticles of magnetic metal oxides has been reported in recent times by using different chemical methods viz. sonochemical, solvothermal, micro emulsion etc… Magnetite (Fe3O4) presents many potential possibilities in biomedicine. Since they range from a few nanometers up to 200 nanometers, they rival the size of most cells, viruses, proteins, and genes. This means that they can interact with these biological units “up close”. Superparamagnetic nanoparticles has a very active surface where several modifications can be applied giving them a great chance for accepting different drugs on their surfaces with different compositions. Applications of Magnetite (Fe3O4) include uses as drug delivery devices, in bioseperations and hyperthermia treatment. In the clinical area, these particles are being used in a variety of ways, notably as contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Ferrofluids respond to an external magnetic field enabling the solution's location to be controlled through the application of a magnetic field. This enables the use of magnetic forces for the control of properties and flow of the liquids, giving rise to numerous technical applications, especially for in vivo applications, such as drug delivery.

Review Articles