Iron and Iron Oxides - Behaviour

Iron oxide nanoparticles are mainly taken up via receptor-mediated endocytosis. They are then metabolised in the lysosomes of the cells.

Direct administration into the body (e.g. intravenous injection into the bloodstream) leads to an as-desired rapid distribution of the particles in the whole body. SPION can be coated with special proteins (e.g. with folate for marking cancer cells) to be conducted towards selected cells or organs.

The blood-brain barrier is a very efficient barrier against toxic agents. However, while protecting the brain from harmful impacts, it impedes the selective application of drugs (for example against tumors of the brain) and the efficient perfusion of contrast agents during magnetic resonance tomography (MRT).

Iron nanoparticles oxidise very quickly under environmental conditions, and are consequently transformed into iron oxide nanoparticles. A coating can prevent the oxidation process of the nanoparticles. Uncoated, synthetically produced iron oxide nanoparticles behave similarly to naturally occurring iron nanoparticles.


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