The synthesis and characterization of glutathione-modified superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles and their distribution in rat brains after injection in substantia nigra

  • Guihua Han
  • Baolin ZhangEmail author
  • Hao Zhang
  • Dong Han
  • Jie TanEmail author
  • Boning YangEmail author
Biomaterials Synthesis and Characterization Original Research
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Biomaterials Synthesis and Characterization


Glutathione-modified superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (GSH-SPIONs) were prepared by conjugating glutathione (GSH) on the surface of the PEG (Polyethylene glycol)/PEI (polyethyleneimine)-SPIONs which were synthesized by thermal decomposition method. Thermogravimetric analysis showed that the mass fraction of GSH on the surface of SPIONs was 30.64 wt%. GSH-SPIONs in PBS were injected into the substantia nigra of rat brains. The subcellular distributions of the nanoparticles in the brains was examined by the transmission electron microscope (TEM). A remarkable amount of GSH-SPIONs were found in vesicles inside cell bodies and axons, and in mitochondria. TEM pictures show that GSH-SPIONs enter the neuronal cells by endocytosis and travel through axoplasmic transport. GSH-SPIONs have great potential as drug delivery agents in the brain to treat diseases or study brain function via mitochondria-targeting way or axoplasmic transport way.



This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51562007).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10856_2018_6209_MOESM1_ESM.docx (566 kb)
Supplementary Information


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Nonferrous and Materials Processing Technology, Ministry of Education; Guangxi Key Laboratory of Optical and Electronic Materials and Devices; College of Materials Science and EngineeringGuilin University of TechnologyGuilinChina
  2. 2.Guangxi Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive NeuroscienceGuilin Medical UniversityGuilinChina
  3. 3.Guangxi Collaborative Innovation Center for Biomedicine and Department of Human AnatomyGuangxi Medical UniversityNanningChina

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