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  Oct 15, 2018

Ferrofluid and Cancer

Ferrofluids are colloidal suspensions of magnetic particles in a liquid carrier, which become magnetized in the presence of a magnetic field. These may be composed of iron, nickel, or cobalt, and show magnetic properties.

The particles are typically about 10 nm in diameter, and may be suspended in either oil or water. Ferrofluids are also called magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) or magnetic beads (MBs). Ferrofluids were first introduced to the world in the 1960s by NASA Lewis Laboratories and AVCO Space Systems independently.

Image Credit: Nneirda / Shutterstock

Synthesis

Nano-sized magnetic particles (e.g. iron oxide) can be synthesized in many ways. One such reaction is by co-precipitating magnetite (Fe3O4) with ammonia (NH3) from an iron solution:

2FeCl3 + FeCl2 + 8NH3+ 4H2O → Fe3O4 + 8NH4Cl

Many MNPs used in targeted deliv