Water-Based suspensions of iron oxide nanoparticles with electrostatic or steric stabilization by chitosan: Fabrication, characterization and biocompatibility

Galina V. Kurlyandskaya, Larisa S. Litvinova, Alexander P. Safronov, Valeria V. Schupletsova, Irina S. Tyukova, Olga G. Khaziakhmatova, Galina B. Slepchenko, Kristina A. Yurova, Elena G. Cherempey, Nikita A. Kulesh, Ricardo Andrade, Igor V. Beketov, Igor A. Khlusov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Present day biomedical applications, including magnetic biosensing, demand better understanding of the interactions between living systems and magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs). In this work spherical MNPs of maghemite were obtained by a highly productive laser target evaporation technique. XRD analysis confirmed the inverse spinel structure of the MNPs (space group Fd-3m). The ensemble obeyed a lognormal size distribution with the median value 26.8 nm and dispersion 0.362. Stabilized water-based suspensions were fabricated using electrostatic or steric stabilization by the natural polymer chitosan. The encapsulation of the MNPs by chitosan makes them resistant to the unfavorable factors for colloidal stability typically present in physiological conditions such as pH and high ionic force. Controlled amounts of suspensions were used for in vitro experiments with human blood mononuclear leukocytes (HBMLs) in order to study their morphofunctional response. For sake of comparison the results obtained in the present study were analyzed together with our previous results of the study of similar suspensions with human mesenchymal stem cells. Suspensions with and without chitosan enhanced the secretion of cytokines by a 24-h culture of HBMLs compared to a control without MNPs. At a dose of 2.3, the MTD of chitosan promotes the stimulating effect of MNPs on cells. In the dose range of MNPs 10-1000 MTD, chitosan “inhibits” cellular secretory activity compared to MNPs without chitosan. Both suspensions did not caused cell death by necrosis, hence, the secretion of cytokines is due to the enhancement of the functional activity of HBMLs. Increased accumulation of MNP with chitosan in the cell fraction at 100 MTD for 24 h exposure, may be due to fixation of chitosan on the outer membrane of HBMLs. The discussed results can be used for an addressed design of cell delivery/removal incorporating multiple activities because of cell capability to avoid phagocytosis by immune cells. They are also promising for the field of biosensor development for the detection of magnetic labels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2605
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2017


  • Chitosan
  • Ferrofluids
  • Human blood mononuclear leukocytes
  • Iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles
  • Magnetic biosensors
  • Morphofunctional response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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