ISSN print edition: 0366-6352
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Biological activities of iron oxide-based magnetic nanoparticles

Nadiya N. Patel, Vishwajeet M. Khot, and Raghunath S. Patil

Centre for Interdisciplinary Research, D. Y. Patil Education Society (Deemed to be University), Kolhapur, India



Received: 6 December 2023  Accepted: 5 February 2024


The anticancer and antibacterial potential of magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles have been investigated using different biological assays. Also, an induction heating study was performed to check the magnetic hyperthermia application of synthesized Fe3O4 nanoparticles. An antimicrobial study was performed against gram-positive and gram-negative bacterial strains. Among them, the Staphylococcus aureus bacterial strain showed maximum antimicrobial activity with a 15 mm zone of inhibition for 500 µg/mL of Fe3O4 nanoparticles. The antioxidant activity was ascertained through a DPPH (1, 1-diphenyl-2, picryl-hydrazyl) assay. Fe3O4 nanoparticles showed 30.57% free radical scavenging activity due to its antioxidative nature. The anticancer potential of Fe3O4 nanoparticles was evaluated against the breast cancer (MDA-MB-231) cell lines and fibroblast (L929) cell line using 3-(4, 5-dimethythiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) cytotoxicity assay. Fe3O4 nanoparticles proved to be toxic to the MDA-MB-231 cell line even at a concentration of 3.125 µg mL−1, and an increase in cytotoxicity to 89% from 20% was observed with the rise in Fe3O4 nanoparticles concentration to 100 µg mL−1. The observed cytotoxicity for the L929 cell line is low revealing the biocompatible nature of synthesized Fe3O4 nanoparticles. Also, the biocompatibility for invitro application was examined using angiogenesis activity which does not show any antiangiogenics activity of synthesized Fe3O4 nanoparticles. Additionally, the inductive heating characteristic of Fe3O4 nanoparticles in an alternating current (AC) magnetic field was examined at a frequency of 278 kHz, and for the different magnetic fields of 13.3, 20.0, and 26.7 kA m−1 for 600 s with different suspension concentrations of Fe3O4 nanoparticles as 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, and 5.0 mg mL−1. The highest rise in temperature of 60.63 °C was observed for 5 mg mL−1 at a magnetic field of 26.7 kA m−1 with a specific absorption rate (SAR) value of 85 Wg1 which makes them suitable for hyperthermia application. The study shows promising antimicrobial, antioxidative, anticancer, and induction heating properties. Herein, the present study reveals the potential of Fe3O4 nanoparticles for improved therapeutic applications and effective bactericidal propensity.

Graphical abstract

Keywords: Anticancer activity; Antimicrobial; Antioxidant; Biological activities; CAM assay; Magnetic hyperthermia; Superparamagnetic nanoparticles

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-024-03358-w


Chemical Papers 78 (6) 3857–3869 (2024)

Monday, June 17, 2024

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