Monodispersed grafted conjugated polyelectrolyte-stabilized magnetic nanoparticles as multifunctional platform for cellular imaging and drug delivery
An anionic grafted conjugated polyelectrolyte was synthesized, and then magnetic nanoparticles stabilized with this material were successfully prepared by a convenient method and used for bioimaging and drug delivery. Grafted conjugated polymer (PFPAA) containing abundant carboxyl groups was attached to the surface of Fe3O4 nanoparticles through ligand exchange with oleic acid and anionic grafted conjugated polyelectrolyte-stabilized magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs@PFPANa) were then obtained by ionization with sodium carbonate. These as-synthesized nanoparticles showed good water solubility and stability, with no precipitation observed in 8 months, and had a narrow size distribution with a mean hydrodynamic diameter of 26 ± 2.4 nm. In addition, these nanoparticles exhibited superparamagnetic properties with a saturation magnetization (Ms) of 20 emu g−1, which sufficient for bioapplications. Upon 48 h incubation with macrophage cells, the obtained nanoparticles showed good biocompatibility of 2 pg Fe per cell as measured by ICP-OES. Furthermore, MNPs@PFPANa were low toxicity as confirmed by an MTT assay using NIH-3T3 fibroblasts. Confocal microscopy results revealed that MNPs@PFPANa can be retained in cytoplasm with high fluorescence. MNPs@PFPANa exhibited good DOX drug loading efficiency of about 10 wt% and showed good therapeutic efficiency for BGC-823 cancer cells. These results indicated such multifunctional nanoparticles would be useful in bioimaging and as drug carriers for cancer treatment.