Surface coating–modulated peroxidase-like activity of maghemite nanoparticles for a chromogenic analysis of cholesterol

  • Xueqin Wang
  • Fan Ouyang
  • Liuqing Cui
  • Tiandi Xiong
  • Xinglei Guan
  • Yuqi GuoEmail author
  • Shaofeng DuanEmail author
Research Paper


Maghemite (γ-Fe2O3) nanoparticles (NPs) emerging as an artificial enzymes have demonstrated an excellent peroxidase-like activity and thus gained much attention in various biological and medical applications. But naked γ-Fe2O3 NPs are aqueously instable and prone to aggregation in biological solutions such as blood plasma. Surface coating for γ-Fe2O3 NPs is thus necessitated to achieve better stability and biocompatibility. In this work, three typical coating layers including poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA), carboxymethyl chitosan (CMCS), and human serum albumin (HSA) were utilized as modifiers to decorate γ-Fe2O3 NPs and fabricate compound NPs including NPPLGA, NPCMCS, and NPHSA, respectively, and subsequently, the peroxidase-like activity of these NPs was evaluated with colorimetric analysis of cholesterol detection. The results showed that the surface coating barely affected peroxidase-like activity of NPs but could remarkably amend stability in the determined pH and temperature ranges. As evidenced with kinetic parameters, the enzymatic catalysis of NPs accorded well with Michaelis–Menten kinetics. Moreover, the catalytic assay demonstrated that the fabricated NPPLGA, NPCMCS, and NPHSA showed a capable catalytic activity using cholesterol as substrate, and especially, the NPPLGA showed a higher peroxidase-like activity compared with the NPCMCS and NPHSA. In conclusion, herein we obtained a coating layer-modulated peroxidase-like activity of γ-Fe2O3 NPs for a visualized analysis of cholesterol, which could be extended for cholesterol detection in biomedical analyses in the future.


Maghemite nanoparticles Surface coating Peroxidase-like activity Cholesterol detection Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) Carboxymethyl chitosan (CMCS) Human serum albumin (HSA) 


Funding information

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 815 725 74, 314 008 55), the Scientific and Technological Project of Henan Province (No. 182 102 210 394), the Young Core Instructor Program in Higher Education Institution of Henan province (No. 2018 GGJS 067), and the Young Core Instructor Program from Henan University of Technology (No. 214 200 55).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

11051_2019_4662_MOESM1_ESM.docx (152 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 151 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Henan Provincial People’s Hospital, School of Clinical MedicineHenan UniversityZhengzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.College of BioengineeringHenan University of TechnologyZhengzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.International Joint Laboratory for Gynecological Oncology NanomedicineZhengzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.School of PharmacyHenan UniversityKaifengPeople’s Republic of China

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