Effects of surfactants on properties of polymer-coated magnetic nanoparticles for drug delivery application

Nesreen Alzoghoul Alsmadi, Aniket S. Wadajkar, Weina Cui, Kytai T. Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The objective of this research was to compare the effects of two different surfactants on the physicochemical properties of thermo-responsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-acrylamide-allylamine) (PNIPAAm-AAm-AH)-coated magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs). Sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) as a commonly used surfactant in nanoparticle formulation process and Pluronic F127 as an FDA approved material were used as surfactants to synthesize PNIPAAm-AAm-AH-coated MNPs (PMNPs). The properties of PMNPs synthesized using SDS (PMNPs-SDS) and PF127 (PMNPs-PF127) were compared in terms of size, polydispersity, surface charge, drug loading efficiency, drug release profile, biocompatibility, cellular uptake, and ligand conjugation efficiency. These nanoparticles had a stable core- shell structure with about a 100-nm diameter and were superparamagnetic in behavior with no difference in the magnetic properties in both types of nanoparticles. In vitro cell studies showed that PMNPs-PF127 were more cytocompatible and taken up more by prostate cancer cells than that of PMNPs-SDS. Cells internalized with these nanoparticles generated a dark negative contrast in agarose phantoms for magnetic resonance imaging. Furthermore, a higher doxorubicin release at 40 °C was observed from PMNPs-PF127, and the released drugs were pharmacologically active in killing cancer cells. Finally, surfactant type did not affect the conjugation efficiency to the nanoparticles when folic acid was used as a targeting ligand model. These results indicate that PF127 might be a better surfactant to form polymer-coated magnetic nanoparticles for targeted and controlled drug delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7177-7186
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nanoparticle Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements TEM was performed at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Molecular and Cellular Imaging Facility. This research was supported by the Department of Defense (Grant No.W81XWH-09-1-0313).


  • Cytotoxicity
  • Magnetic properties
  • Nanomedicine
  • Pluronics
  • Polymer-coated magnetic nanoparticles
  • Surfactants


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