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Synthesis, Principles, And Properties Of Magnetite Nanoparticles For In Vivo Imaging Applications—A Review

Wallyn, Anton, Vandamme

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The current nanotechnology era is marked by the emergence of various magnetic inorganic nanometer-sized colloidal particles. These have been extensively applied and hold an immense potential in biomedical applications including, for example, cancer therapy, drug nanocarriers (NCs), or in targeted delivery systems and diagnosis involving two guided-nanoparticles (NPs) as nanoprobes and contrast agents. Considerable efforts have been devoted to designing iron oxide NPs (IONPs) due to their superparamagnetic (SPM) behavior (SPM IONPs or SPIONs) and their large surface-to-volume area allowing more biocompatibility, stealth, and easy bonding to natural biomolecules thanks to grafted ligands, selective-site moieties, and/or organic and inorganic corona shells. Such nanomagnets with adjustable architecture have been the topic of significant progresses since modular designs enable SPIONs to carry out several functions simultaneously such as local drug delivery with real-time monitoring and imaging of the targeted area. Syntheses of SPIONs and adjustments of their physical and chemical properties have been achieved and paved novel routes for a safe use of those tailored magnetic ferrous nanomaterials. Herein we will emphasis a basic notion about NPs magnetism in order to have a better understanding of SPION assets for biomedical applications, then we mainly focus on magnetite iron oxide owing to its outstanding magnetic properties. The general methods of preparation and typical characteristics of magnetite are reviewed, as well as the major biomedical applications of magnetite.