ISSN print edition: 0366-6352
ISSN electronic edition: 1336-9075
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Synthesis, characterization and in vitro analysis of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles for targeted hyperthermia therapy

Ziba Hedayatnasab, Ali Dabbagh, Faisal Abnisa, Hamed Karimian, Noor Hayaty Abu Kasim, and Wan Mohd Ashri Wan Daud

Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia



Received: 5 September 2019  Accepted: 23 June 2020



Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) are considered as promising magnetic nanoheating agents for diagnostic as well as therapeutic applications due to their biocompatibility and tunability of magnetic properties. These nanoheating agents are commonly synthesized by coprecipitation of two iron precursors, though applying less amount of these chemicals may minimize the toxicity risks for biomedical purposes. The aim of this study is to address this issue by considering the high oxidation vulnerability of ferrous ions to ferric ions to synthesize SPIONs via a single-iron precursor under four varied oxidative conditions. The obtained results implied that the properties of SPIONs can be modified by the variation in the oxidizing conditions. Thereby, the optimal sample was produced as the oxygen/nitrogen flow ratio adjusted to 50% in the synthesis environment. The induction heating efficiency of this optimal sample was investigated under the exposure of varied alternating magnetic field (AMF), which resulted in a remarkable specific absorption rate (SAR) of 168.96 W g−1 while maintaining the temperature medium within the secure hyperthermia range. The cytotoxic effect of the optimal SPIONs sample against human liver carcinoma (HepG2) cells was determined using MTT assay, leading to a considerable decrement in the cell viability. The incorporation of SPIONs under the AMF exposure is, therefore, considered as an effectual mechanism to the tumor intervention.

Graphic abstract

Keywords: Superparamagnetic; Iron oxide nanoparticles; Oxidation; Specific absorption rate; In vitro magnetic hyperthermia; Cytotoxicity

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-020-01265-4


Chemical Papers 75 (2) 669–679 (2021)

Tuesday, July 23, 2024

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