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J Nanopart Res. 2013 Jan;15(1):1372. Epub 2012 Dec 22.

Stable aqueous dispersion of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles protected by charged chitosan derivatives.

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  • 1Faculty of Chemistry, Jagiellonian University, Ingardena 3, 30-060 Krakow, Poland.


This article presents the synthesis and characterization of biocompatible superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) coated with ultrathin layer of anionic derivative of chitosan. The water-based fabrication involved a two-step procedure. In the first step, the nanoparticles were obtained by co-precipitation of ferrous and ferric aqueous salt solutions with ammonia in the presence of cationic derivative of chitosan. In the second step, such prepared materials were subjected to adsorption of oppositely charged chitosan derivative which resulted in the preparation of negatively charged SPIONs. They were found to develop highly stable dispersion in water. The core size of the nanocoated SPIONs, determined using transmission electron microscopy, was measured to be slightly above 10 nm. The coated nanoparticles form aggregates with majority of them having hydrodynamic diameter below 100 nm, as measured by dynamic light scattering. Their composition and properties were studied using FTIR and thermogravimetric analyses. They exhibit magnetic properties typical for superparamagnetic material with a high saturation magnetization value of 123 ± 12 emu g(-1) Fe. Very high value of the measured r(2) relaxivity, 369 ± 3 mM(-1) s(-1), is conducive for the potential application of the obtained SPIONs as promising contrast agents in magnetic resonance imaging. ELECTRONIC SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL: The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11051-012-1372-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.


Chitosan; Layer-by-layer deposition; Magnetic resonance imaging; Relaxivity; SPION; Superparamagnetic nanoparticles

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