Biocompatible and Biodegradable Polymer Nanofibers Displaying Superparamagnetic Properties



Superparamagnetic polymer nanofibers intended for drug delivery and therapy are considered here. Magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles in the diameter range of 5–10 nm were synthesized in aqueous solution. Polymer nanofibers containing magnetite nanoparticles were prepared from commercially available poly(hydroxyethyl methacrylate), PHEMA, and poly-L-lactide (PLLA) by the electrospinning technique. Nanofibers with diameters ranging from 50 to 300 nm were obtained. Nanofibers containing up to 35 wt % magnetite nanoparticles displayed superparamagnetism at room temperature. The blocking temperature was about 50 K for an applied field of 500 Oe, and the saturation magnetization was 3.5 emu g−1and 1.1 emu g−1for Fe3O4/PHEMA and Fe3O4/PLLA nanofibers, respectively, and depended on the amount of Fe3O4 nanoparticles in the nanocomposites. To test such magnetic nano-objects for applications as drug carriers and drug-release systems we incorporated a fluorescent albumin with dog fluorescein isothiocyanate (ADFI).