International journal of nanomedicine

Development of a lauric acid/albumin hybrid iron oxide nanoparticle system with improved biocompatibility.

PMID 25364244


The promising potential of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) in various nanomedical applications has been frequently reported. However, although many different synthesis methods, coatings, and functionalization techniques have been described, not many core-shell SPION drug delivery systems are available for clinicians at the moment. Here, bovine serum albumin was adsorbed onto lauric acid-stabilized SPIONs. The agglomeration behavior, zeta potential, and their dependence on the synthesis conditions were characterized with dynamic light scattering. The existence and composition of the core-shell-matrix structure was investigated by transmission electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and zeta potential measurements. We showed that the iron oxide cores form agglomerates in the range of 80 nm. Moreover, despite their remarkably low tendency to aggregate even in a complex media like whole blood, the SPIONs still maintained their magnetic properties and were well attractable with a magnet. The magnetic properties were quantified by vibrating sample magnetometry and a superconducting quantum interference device. Using flow cytometry, we further investigated the effects of the different types of nanoparticle coating on morphology, viability, and DNA integrity of Jurkat cells. We showed that by addition of bovine serum albumin, the toxicity of nanoparticles is greatly reduced. We also investigated the effect of the particles on the growth of primary human endothelial cells to further demonstrate the biocompatibility of the particles. As proof of principle, we showed that the hybrid-coated particles are able to carry payloads of up to 800 μg/mL of the cytostatic drug mitoxantrone while still staying colloidally stable. The drug-loaded system exhibited excellent therapeutic potential in vitro, exceeding that of free mitoxantrone. In conclusion, we have synthesized a biocompatible ferrofluid that shows great potential for clinical application. The synthesis is straightforward and reproducible and thus easily translatable into a good manufacturing practice environment.