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Front. Chem. | doi: 10.3389/fchem.2019.00642

Surface study of Fe3O4 nanoparticles functionalized with biocompatible adsorbed molecules

 Beata Lesiak-Orłowska1*,  N. Rangam1, P. Jiricek2, I. Gordeev2, J. Tóth3,  L. Kövér3 and M. Mohai3
  • 1Institute of Physical Chemistry (PAN), Poland
  • 2Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (ASCR), Czechia
  • 3Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA), Hungary

Surfaces of iron oxide of ferrimagnetic magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles (MNPs) prepared by Massart’s method and their functionalized form (f-MNPs) with succinic acid, L-arginine, oxalic acid, citric acid and glutamic acid were studied by DLS, FTIR, UV-vis, TGA/DSC, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and reflection electron energy loss spectroscopy (REELS).
The XPS analysis of elements and their chemical states at the surface of MNPs and f-MNPs revealed differences in chemical bonding of atoms, content of carbon-oxygen groups, iron oxide forms, iron oxide magnetic properties, adsorbed molecules surface coverage and overlayer thickness, whereas the Auger parameters (derived from XPS and Auger spectra), elastic and inelastic scattering probabilities of electrons on atoms and valence band electrons (derived from REELS spectra) indicated modification of surface charge redistribution, electronic and optical properties. These modified properties of f-MNPs influenced their biological properties.
The surfaces biocompatible for L929 cells showed various cytotoxicity for HeLa cells (10.8-5.3% of cell death), the highest for MNPs functionalized with oxalic acid. The samples exhibiting the largest efficiency possessed smaller surface coverage and thickness of adsorbed molecules layers, the highest content of oxygen and carbon-oxygen functionalizing groups, the highest ratio of lattice O2‑ and OH- to C sp2 hybridizations on MNPs surface, the highest ratio of adsorbed O‑ and OH- to C sp2 hybridizations on adsorbed molecule layers, the closest electronic and optical properties to Fe3O4 and the lowest degree of admolecule polymerization. This high cytotoxicity was attributed to interaction of surface with cells, where increased content of oxygen groups, adsorbed O- and OH- may play a role of additional adsorption and catalytic sites and a large content of adsorbed molecule layers carboxylic groups facilitating Fenton reaction kinetics leading to cells damage.

Keywords: ferrimagnetic magnetite (Fe3O4) magnetic nanoparticles, biocompatible acid functionalization, DLS, FTIR-S, TGA/DSC, XPS, REELS, HeLa Cells

Received: 28 May 2019; Accepted: 09 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Lesiak-Orłowska, Rangam, Jiricek, Gordeev, Tóth, Kövér and Mohai. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Beata Lesiak-Orłowska, Institute of Physical Chemistry (PAN), Warsaw, Poland,