Smart Therapy: The Multivariate Potentials of Iron Oxide Nanoparticles in Drug Delivery

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In modern medicine, physicians destroy otherwise healthy tissues in patients’ bodies because of the lack of site-target specificity and sensitivity in detecting and attacking cancerous cells. Many cancer patients are left with the difficult task of weighing the benefits against the harm of undergoing current cancer treatments. Members of the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC) are seeking ways to significantly increase the specificity and sensitivity of drug delivery. Examination of magnetic nanoparticles as a means for drug delivery offers new possibilities for enhanced, specific targeting of diseased cells and thus for potential cancer treatments. Past research indicating that iron oxide (commonly called magnetite) nanoparticles can be coated with organic and biological molecules forms the basis of this experiment, which attempts to characterize and develop efficient ways of immobilizing biological molecules (e.g., medicines) onto the surfaces of magnetic iron oxide particles. Combined transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images and thermal gravity analyzer (TGA) data determined that nanoparticle size is, at most, insignificantly affected by varying temperature and pH. Furthermore, the immobilization of a biological molecule onto a coated iron oxide nanoparticle was compared for two different organic couplers, Ethylenediaminetetraacetate ion (EDTA) and Dextran. TGA data confirmed that EDTA proved more efficient in immobilizing the biological protein Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) onto the magnetic nanoparticles. This information adds new insight into the mechanisms and the functional groups needed to equip a suitable organic coupler to most efficiently immobilize medicines.

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  • 07/12/2018
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