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Nano Res. 2009 Apr;2(4):261-278.

Production, Modification and Bio-Applications of Magnetic Nanoparticles Gestated by Magnetotactic Bacteria.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Bio-X Program, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5484, USA.


Magnetotactic bacteria (MTB) were first discovered by Richard P. Blakemore in 1975, and this led to the discovery of a wide collection of microorganisms with similar features i.e., the ability to internalize Fe and convert it into magnetic nanoparticles, in the form of either magnetite (Fe(3)O(4)) or greigite (Fe(3)S(4)). Studies showed that these particles are highly crystalline, monodisperse, bioengineerable and have high magnetism that is comparable to those made by advanced synthetic methods, making them candidate materials for a broad range of bio-applications. In this review article, the history of the discovery of MTB and subsequent efforts to elucidate the mechanisms behind the magnetosome formation are briefly covered. The focus is on how to utilize the knowledge gained from fundamental studies to fabricate functional MTB nanoparticles (MTB-NPs) that are capable of tackling real biomedical problems.

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