Efficient microwave synthesis, functionalisation and biocompatibility studies of SPION based potential nano-drug carriers

  • Namita SaxenaEmail author
  • Neeraj Dholia
  • Satyaprasad Akkireddy
  • Anupinder Singh
  • Umesh C. S. Yadav
  • Charu Lata DubeEmail author
Original Article


Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles are much desired for various biomedical applications due to their biocompatible, biodegradable and superparamagnetic nature. In contrast to high-temperature synthesis methods, present study investigates the facile low-temperature co-precipitation process without inert atmosphere. For its efficient, homogenous, in core heating and environment friendly nature microwave energy at two powers of 180 and 450 W was used for synthesis and functionalisation of nanoparticles. It was found in the study, that microwave power plays a decisive role in controlling the size, coating and drug loading percentage of the particles. The synthesis process has been made more economic and simpler by the use of domestic oven, and serine coated particles with mean sizes around 6.8 and 10 nm, narrow size distribution (standard deviations of 1.4 and 1.6 nm), almost rectangular shape and magnetization values of approx. 48 and 42 emu/g were obtained at 180 and 450 W power, respectively. Particles were found to have properties such as near to zero remanence and coercivity, good crystallization and colloidal stability. The biocompatibility of the uncoated and serine coated particles was confirmed by the MTT assay on A 549 epithelial cells. Synthesized particles were found to have all the suitable properties for potential application in biomedical fields. Doxorubicin hydrochloride was loaded efficiently on both the synthesized particles, with loading efficiency obtained up to 6.8% wt/wt, for assessing their suitability as potential drug delivery agents.


Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles Microwave synthesis Drug delivery Doxorubicin 



We acknowledge the use of BL-11, Indus 2, RRCAT, Indore for XRD of SPION_180W. Authors acknowledge the use of SAIF facility at IITB for TEM images (for SPION_180W, Figs. 4 and 5). We are thankful to Dr. Hitesh Kulhari, SNS, CUG, Gandhinagar, for kindly providing the drug. We sincerely thank Dr. Bhawana Pathak, SESD, CUG, Gandhinagar for helping with the use of light scattering facility. We acknowledge the infrastructural and instrumentation facility at CUG, Gandhinagar.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding authors state that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Nano SciencesCentral University of GujaratGandhinagarIndia
  2. 2.School of Life SciencesCentral University of GujaratGandhinagarIndia
  3. 3.FCIPT, Institute for Plasma Research, GIDCGandhinagarIndia
  4. 4.Department of PhysicsGuru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsarIndia

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