Iron Oxide Nanoparticle Surface Modification: Synthesis and Characterization
Multifunctional nanomaterials can be engineered to aid in the diagnosis of diseases, enable efficient drug delivery, monitor treatment progress over time, and evaluate treatment outcomes. This strategy, known as theranostics, focuses on the combination of diagnostic and therapeutic techniques to provide new clinically safe and efficient personalized treatments. The evaluation of different nanomaterials' properties and their customization for specific medical applications has therefore been a
... therefore been a significant area of interest within the scientific community. Iron oxide nanoparticles, specifically those based on iron (II, III) oxide (magnetite, Fe3O4), have been prominently investigated for biomedical, theranostic applications due to their documented superparamagnetism, high biocompatibility, and other unique physicochemical properties. The aim of this thesis is to establish a viable set of methods for preparing magnetite (iron oxide) nanoparticles through hydrothermal synthesis and modifying their surfaces with organic functional groups in order to both modulate surface chemistry and facilitate the attachment of molecules such as peptides via covalent bond formations. Modifying their surfaces with biomolecules such as peptides can further increase their uptake into cells, which is a necessary step in the mechanisms of their desired biomedical applications. The methods of nanoparticle synthesis, surface functionalization, and characterization involving electron microscopy (e.g., SEM, TEM), zeta potential measurements, size analysis (i.e., DLS), and FT-IR spectroscopy will be presented.