Sunday, February 28, 2010

Isfahan University Low-Cost Magnetic Cobalt-Zinc-Ferrite Nanocrystals Deliver Drugs on Target and Aid Diagnostic Imaging

Researchers of Isfahan University, Iran, managed to synthesize a kind of cost-effective magnetic nanoparticles. Magnetic nanoparticles are applied in the production of ferrofluids which are used in targeted drug delivery and diagnostic imaging.

"We conducted a research with the aim of synthesizing cobalt-zinc ferrite nanopowders by co-precipitation chemical method and detecting their physical properties," Mortaza Mozaffari said to the news service of INIC.

"Most of nanoparticles synthesis methods are not economically appropriate for production at large scale because they are expensive and include toxic agents, complicated production steps, high reaction temperatures, and long reaction times," he added.

Noting that co-precipitation method has a relatively better size control and distribution compared to other methods, Mozaffari reiterated that it is also a reliable method for producing nanoparticles from the environmental consequences and laboratory safety points of view.

"In this study, first sodium hydroxide solution of definite pH was stirred at constant rate at room temperature. Meanwhile, definite amounts of cobalt chloride, zinc chloride, and ferrous chloride solutions were mixed together and their temperature amounted to ST. This mixture then was added to preheated sodium hydroxide solution abruptly and stirring this precipitate at constant pH, stirring rate, and temperature, kept on for one hour to ensure the formation of complete homogenous cobalt-zinc ferrite phase," he said.

Mozaffari continued saying that the precipitate resulting from reaction was refined and rinsed several times with water and the produced powder was dried at room temperature.

The synthesis of cobalt-zinc ferrite nanocrystals of crystal sizes less than 10 nm and homogenous size distribution in a way that it would be able to completely form the desired ferrite phase made up for the need to baking for phase formation consequently followed by production costs reduction.

The details of this research can be found at the Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, volume 322, pages 383 to 388, 2009.

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