Encapsulation of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles in poly-(lactide-co-glycolic acid) microspheres for biomedical applications.
Gun S., Edirisinghe M., Stride E.
Magnetic microspheres were prepared using a single step coaxial electrohydrodynamic atomization technique at ambient temperature and pressure, with poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) as the coating and iron oxide (Fe3O4) nanoparticles dispersed in polyethylene glycol as the encapsulated material. The morphology and particle size distributions of the prepared magnetic microspheres were investigated by scanning electron microscopy. The particles were spherical with mean diameters ranging from ~2 μm to 18 μm, depending on the combination of processing parameters (flow rate and applied voltage). Analysis by infrared spectroscopy and focused ion-beam sectioning confirmed incorporation of iron oxide nanoparticles into the microspheres and the prepared samples were shown to be responsive to an applied magnetic field. This study demonstrates a convenient method for the preparation of nanoparticle loaded microspheres, which could be used potentially as transverse relaxation contrast agents in magnetic resonance imaging, as well as for magnetically guided drug delivery.