An Efficient and Highly Versatile Synthetic Route to Prepare Iron Oxide Nanoparticles/Nanocomposites with Tunable Morphologies

Karagoz B., YEOW J., ESSER L., PRAKASH S. M., KUCHEL R. P., DAVIS T. P., ...More

LANGMUIR, vol.30, no.34, pp.10493-10502, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 30 Issue: 34
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1021/la502656u
  • Journal Name: LANGMUIR
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.10493-10502
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


We report a versatile synthetic method for the in situ self-assembly of magnetic-nanoparticle-fimctionalized polymeric nanomorphologies, including spherical micelles and rod-like and worm-like micelles and vesicles. Poly(oligoethylene glycol methacrylate)-block-(methacrylic acid)-block-poly(styrene) (POEGMA-b-PMAA-b-PST) triblock copolymer chains were simultaneously propagated and self-assembled via a polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA) approach. Subsequently, the carboxylic acid groups in the copolymers were used to complex an iron ion (Fe-II/Fe-III) mixture. Iron oxide nanoparticles were then formed in the central block, within the polymeric nanoparticles, via alkaline coprecipitation of the iron(II) and (III) salts. Nanoparticle morphologies, particle sizes, molecular weights, and chemical structures were then characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), dynamic light scattering (DLS), size exclusion chromatography (SEC), and H-1 NMR measurements. TEM micrographs showed that the average size of the magnetic nanoparticles was similar to 7 nm at the hydrophobic/hydrophilic nexus contained within the nanoparticles. In addition, XRD was used to confirm the formation of iron oxide nanoparticles. Importantly, the polymeric nanoparticle morphologies were not affected by the coprecipitation of the magnetic nanoparticles. The hybrid nanoparticles were then evaluated as negative MRI contrast agents, displaying remarkably high transverse relaxivities (r(2), greater than 550 mM(-1) s(-1) at 9.4 T); a result, that we hypothesize, ensues from iron oxide nanoparticle clustering at the hydrophobic-hydrophilic interface. This simple synthetic procedure is highly versatile and produces nanocarriers of tunable size and shape with high efficacy as MRI contrast agents and potential utility as theranostic delivery vectors.