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Chitosan-functionalized Fe3O4@SiO2 nanoparticles as a potential drug delivery system

Ngoc Yen Nguyen, Huynh Vu Thanh Luong, Duy Toan Pham, Thi Bich Quyen Tran, and Huynh Giao Dang

Applied Chemical Engineering Lab, College of Engineering, Can Tho University, Can Tho, Vietnam



Received: 14 November 2021  Accepted: 18 March 2022


This study developed and characterized the chitosan-functionalized Fe3O4@SiO2 nanoparticles (Fe3O4@SiO2@CS NP) as a drug delivery system. Fe3O4 NP were first synthesized by co-precipitation method, followed by coating with SiO2, and functionalized with chitosan via glutaraldehyde crosslinking bridges. The newly synthesized Fe3O4@SiO2@CS NP possessed an octagonal shape with a diameter of ~ 20 nm. In the FT-IR spectrum, the Fe3O4@SiO2@CS NP demonstrated the appearances of C–O, N–H, and C–H peaks, indicating the presence of chitosan in their structures. The Fe3O4@SiO2@CS NP could preserve the Fe3O4 magnetic property with a magnetization value of 52.43 emu/g, a magnetization remanence of almost 0 emu/g, and minimal residual coercivity. Utilizing curcumin as a drug model, the Fe3O4@SiO2@CS NP could adsorb the drug rapidly, to more than 71% within 20 min, with an adsorption capacity of 6.54 mg/g and an adsorption energy of 0.2029 kJ/mol (following the Dubinin–Radushkevich model). The curcumin adsorption process was in good agreement with the pseudo-second-order kinetics (R2 = 0.9975). Interestingly, in the simulated body fluid, the curcumin-loaded Fe3O4@SiO2@CS NP could retain the curcumin release, with no detectable drug release, in the first hour, followed by a burst release within the next hour. This confirms the contribution of CS in the system. Conclusively, the Fe3O4@SiO2@CS NP could be further developed to potentially become a controlled-release drug delivery system.

Keywords: Chitosan; Magnetic nanoparticles; Fe3O4; Curcumin; Drug delivery

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-022-02189-x


Chemical Papers 76 (7) 4561–4570 (2022)

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