Acid-sensitive magnetic nanoparticles as potential drug depots

Shy Chyi Wuang, Koon Gee Neoh, En Tang Kang, Deborah E. Leckband, Daniel W. Pack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Superparamagnetic magnetic nanoparticles were successfully functionalized with poly(methacrylic acid) via atom transfer radical polymerization, followed by conjugation to doxorubicin (Dox). Because of pH-sensitive hydrazone linkages, the rate and extent of Dox release from the particles was higher at a lower pH and/or a higher temperature than at physiological conditions. Appropriate changes to the pH and temperature can increase the drug release from the particles. Because of the released drug, the particles were found to be cytotoxic to human breast cancer cells in vitro. Such magnetic nanoparticles, with the potential to retain drug under physiological conditions and release the drug in conditions where the pH is lower or temperature is higher, may be useful in magnetic drug targeting by reducing the side effects of the drug caused to healthy tissues. In addition, they may serve as hyperthermia agents where the high temperatures used in hyperthermia can trigger further drug release.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1638-1645
Number of pages8
JournalAICHE Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Cancer cells
  • Conjugation
  • Doxorubicin
  • Hydrazone linkages
  • Magnetic drug targeting
  • Magnetic nanoparticles
  • Poly(methacrylic acid)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Engineering
  • General Chemical Engineering


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