Irregularly Shaped Iron Nitride Nanoparticles as a Potential Candidate for Biomedical Applications: From Synthesis to Characterization

Kai Wu, Jinming Liu, Renata Saha, Bin Ma, Diqing Su, Chaoyi Peng, Jiajia Sun, Jian Ping Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) have been extensively used in drug/gene delivery, hyperthermia therapy, magnetic particle imaging (MPI), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetic bioassays, and so forth. With proper surface chemical modifications, physicochemically stable and nontoxic MNPs are emerging contrast agents and tracers for in vivo MRI and MPI applications. Herein, we report the high magnetic moment, irregularly shaped γ′-Fe4N nanoparticles for enhanced hyperthermia therapy and T2 contrast agent for MRI application. The static and dynamic magnetic properties of γ′-Fe4N nanoparticles are characterized by a vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM) and a magnetic particle spectroscopy (MPS) system, respectively. Compared to the γ-Fe2O3 nanoparticles, γ′-Fe4N nanoparticles show at least three times higher saturation magnetization, which, as a result, gives rise to the stronger dynamic magnetic responses as proved in the MPS measurement results. In addition, γ′-Fe4N nanoparticles are functionalized with an oleic acid layer by a wet mechanical milling process. The morphologies of as-milled nanoparticles are characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), dynamic light scattering (DLS), and nanoparticle tracking analyzer (NTA). We report that with proper surface chemical modification and tuning on morphologies, γ′-Fe4N nanoparticles could be used as tiny heating sources for hyperthermia and contrast agents for MRI applications with minimum dose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11756-11767
Number of pages12
JournalACS Omega
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 26 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was financially supported by the Institute of Engineering in Medicine of the University of Minnesota through FY18 IEM Seed Grant Funding Program. Portions of this work were conducted in the Minnesota Nano Center, which is supported by the National Science Foundation through the National Nano Coordinated Infrastructure Network (NNCI) under Award Number ECCS-1542202. Portions of this work were carried out in the Characterization Facility, University of Minnesota, a member of the NSF-funded Materials Research Facilities Network ( ) via the MRSEC program.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2020 American Chemical Society.


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