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Keywords:

  • imaging agents;
  • iron;
  • iron oxide;
  • nanoparticles;
  • NMR imaging

Abstract

Biocompatible iron nanoparticles exhibiting a high magnetic moment are potentially useful for a variety of biomedical applications. However, once exposed to air, iron nanoparticles partially oxidize, effectively reducing their magnetic performance. Here, near-monodisperse iron nanocrystals were synthesized and oxidized on the surface to form iron/iron oxide core/shell nanoparticles. The presence of excess stabilizers was shown to stabilize the core/shell nanoparticles, thus preventing further oxidation. The advantage of these core/shell nanoparticles in biomedicine, is shown by greater cellular MRI contrast enhancement compared to pure iron oxides without increase in cytotoxicity.