ISSN print edition: 0366-6352
ISSN electronic edition: 1336-9075
Registr. No.: MK SR 9/7

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In vitro sustained release of gallic acid from the size-controlled PEGylated magnetite nanoparticles

Basharat Khan, Mohsan Nawaz, Gareth J. Price, Rafaqat Hussain, Ayesha Baig, Sirajul Haq, Wajid Rehman, and Muhammad Waseem

Department of Chemistry, Hazara University, Mansehra, Pakistan



Received: 25 November 2020  Accepted: 31 May 2021


The drug loading efficiency of magnetite nanoparticles (MNPs) can be enhanced by coating with polyethylene glycol (PEG) which is a biocompatible polymer. The PEG-coated MNPs could be the potential candidates for carrying the drug molecules to the targeted sites. In this study, size-controlled MNPs were synthesized and functionalized with PEG of molecular weights 700, 2000 and 5000. The MNPs and PEGylated MNPs (PMNPs) samples were characterized through X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and surface area and pore size measurements by Brunauer, Emmett and Teller (BET) and Barrett–Joyner–Halenda (BJH) methods. The diffraction data showed that MNPs are purely crystalline with face cubic crystal structure, whereas the spherical shape of the particles was confirmed by TEM. The TGA supports thermal stability of nanoparticles which was markedly enhanced by coating with PEG. The BJH data (hysteresis loops) showed that MNPs were mesoporous in nature. After characterization, the PEGylated MNPs were loaded with gallic acid (GA). The spectroscopic evidences regarding the successful PEGylation and loading of GA onto PMNPswere acquired from FTIR spectroscopy. The in vitro sustained drug release efficacy of PMNPs was evaluated via UV–visible spectroscopy. Among all the synthesized samples, P750MNPs-10 showed the highest % drug release i.e., 98% into phosphate buffer saline (PBS) solution of pH 4.4 and 90% in PBS of pH 7.4. The highest % drug release at pH 10 may be attributed to smaller particle size with high surface area. The highest % drug release can also be associated with the weak interactions between P750MNPs-10 and GA through hydrogen bonding.

Keywords: Drug; Gallic acid; In vitro; Magnetite; Nanoparticles; PEG

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-021-01724-6


Chemical Papers 75 (10) 5339–5352 (2021)

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