Thermal and magnetic properties of iron oxide colloids: influence of surfactants

P Soares, Frederik Lochte, Maria del Coro Echeverria, Laura C. J. Pereira, Joana T. Coutinho, Isabel M. M. Ferreira, Carlos M. M. Novo, Joao P. M. R. Borges

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65 Citations (Scopus)


Iron oxide nanoparticles (NPs) have been extensively studied in the last few decades for several biomedical applications such as magnetic resonance imaging, magnetic drug delivery and hyperthermia. Hyperthermia is a technique used for cancer treatment which consists in inducing a temperature of about 41-45 degrees C in cancerous cells through magnetic NPs and an external magnetic field. Chemical precipitation was used to produce iron oxide NPs 9 nm in size coated with oleic acid and trisodium citrate. The influence of both stabilizers on the heating ability and in vitro cytotoxicity of the produced iron oxide NPs was assessed. Physicochemical characterization of the samples confirmed that the used surfactants do not change the particles' average size and that the presence of the surfactants has a strong effect on both the magnetic properties and the heating ability. The heating ability of Fe3O4 NPs shows a proportional increase with the increase of iron concentration, although when coated with trisodium citrate or oleic acid the heating ability decreases. Cytotoxicity assays demonstrated that both pristine and trisodium citrate Fe3O4 samples do not reduce cell viability. However, oleic acid Fe3O4 strongly reduces cell viability, more drastically in the SaOs-2 cell line. The produced iron oxide NPs are suitable for cancer hyperthermia treatment and the use of a surfactant brings great advantages concerning the dispersion of NPs, also allowing better control of the hyperthermia temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Article number425704
Number of pages11
Issue number42
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2015


  • hyperthermia
  • iron oxide nanoparticles
  • magnetic characterization


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