64 research outputs found

    Growth mechanism of nanostructured superparamagnetic rods obtained by electrostatic co-assembly

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    We report on the growth of nanostructured rods fabricated by electrostatic co-assembly between iron oxide nanoparticles and polymers. The nanoparticles put under scrutiny, {\gamma}-Fe2O3 or maghemite, have diameter of 6.7 nm and 8.3 nm and narrow polydispersity. The co-assembly is driven by i) the electrostatic interactions between the polymers and the particles, and by ii) the presence of an externally applied magnetic field. The rods are characterized by large anisotropy factors, with diameter 200 nm and length comprised between 1 and 100 {\mu}m. In the present work, we provide for the first time the morphology diagram for the rods as a function of ionic strength and concentration. We show the existence of a critical nanoparticle concentration and of a critical ionic strength beyond which the rods do not form. In the intermediate regimes, only tortuous and branched aggregates are detected. At higher concentrations and lower ionic strengths, linear and stiff rods with superparamagnetic properties are produced. Based on these data, a mechanism for the rod formation is proposed. The mechanism proceeds in two steps : the formation and growth of spherical clusters of particles, and the alignment of the clusters induced by the magnetic dipolar interactions. As far as the kinetics of these processes is concerned, the clusters growth and their alignment occur concomitantly, leading to a continuous accretion of particles or small clusters, and a welding of the rodlike structure.Comment: 15 pages, 10 figures, one tabl

    Poly(acrylic acid)-coated iron oxide nanoparticles : quantitative evaluation of the coating properties and applications for the removal of a pollutant dye

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    In this work, 6 to 12 nm iron oxide nanoparticles were synthesized and coated with poly(acrylic acid) chains of molecular weight 2100 g/mol. Based on a quantitative evaluation of the dispersions, the bare and coated particles were thoroughly characterized. The number densities of polymers adsorbed at the particle surface and of available chargeable groups were found to be 1.9 +/- 0.3 nm-2 and 26 +/- 4 nm-2, respectively. Occurring via a multi-site binding mechanism, the electrostatic coupling leads to a solid and resilient anchoring of the chains. To assess the efficacy of the particles for pollutant remediation, the adsorption isotherm of methylene blue molecules, a model of pollutant, was determined. The excellent agreement between the predicted and measured amounts of adsorbed dyes suggests that most carboxylates participate to the complexation and adsorption mechanisms. An adsorption of 830 mg/g was obtained. This quantity compares well with the highest values available for this dye.Comment: 14 pages 5 figures, accepted 06-Dec-2012; Journal of Colloid and Interface Science (2013

    Reorientation kinetics of superparamagnetic nanostructured rods

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    The attractive interactions between oppositely charged species (colloids, macromolecules etc) dispersed in water are strong, and the direct mixing of solutions containing such species generally yields to a precipitation, or to a phase separation. We have recently developed means to control the electrostatically-driven attractions between nanoparticles and polymers in water, and at the same time to preserve the stability of the dispersions. We give here an account of the formation of supracolloidal aggregates obtained by co-assembly of 7 nm particles with copolymers. Nanostructured rods of length comprised between 5 and 50 microns and diameter 500 nm were investigated. By application of a magnetic field, the rods were found to reorient along with the magnetic field lines. The kinetics of reorientation was investigated using step changes of the magnetic field of amplitude 90 degrees. From the various results obtained, among which an exponential decay of the tangent of the angle made between the rod and the field, we concluded that the rods are superparamagnetic.Comment: 12 pages - 452kB 7 - figures - 1 Table will be published in Journal of Physics : Condensed Matte

    Electrosteric enhanced stability of functional sub-10 nm cerium and iron oxide particles in cell culture medium

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    Applications of nanoparticles in biology require that the nanoparticles remain stable in solutions containing high concentrations of proteins and salts, as well as in cell culture media. In this work, we developed simple protocols for the coating of sub-10 nm nanoparticles and evaluated the colloidal stability of dispersions in various environments. Ligands (citric acid), oligomers (phosphonate-terminated poly(ethylene oxide)) and polymers (poly(acrylic acid)) were used as nanometer-thick adlayers for cerium (CeO2) and iron (gamma-Fe2O3) oxide nanoparticles. The organic functionalities were adsorbed on the particle surfaces via physical (electrostatic) forces. Stability assays at high ionic strength and in cell culture media were performed by static and dynamic light scattering. Among the three coating examined, we found that only poly(acrylic acid) fully preserved the dispersion stability on the long term (> weeks). The improved stability was explained by the multi-point attachments of the chains onto the particle surface, and by the adlayer-mediated electrosteric interactions. These results suggest that anionically charged polymers represent an effective alternative to conventional coating agents.Comment: 8 figures, 10 pages, 4 tables. to appear in Langmui

    Universal scattering behavior of co-assembled nanoparticle-polymer clusters

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    Water-soluble clusters made from 7 nm inorganic nanoparticles have been investigated by small-angle neutron scattering. The internal structure factor of the clusters was derived and exhibited a universal behavior as evidenced by a correlation hole at intermediate wave-vectors. Reverse Monte-Carlo calculations were performed to adjust the data and provided an accurate description of the clusters in terms of interparticle distance and volume fraction. Additional parameters influencing the microstructure were also investigated, including the nature and thickness of the nanoparticle adlayer.Comment: 5 pages, 4 figures, paper published in Physical Review

    Electrostatic co-assembly of iron oxide nanoparticles and polymers : towards the generation of highly persistent superparamagnetic nanorods

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    A paradigm proposed recently by Boal et al. (A.K. Boal et al., Nature 404, 746-748, 2000) deals with the possibility to use inorganic nanoparticles as building blocks for the design and fabrication of colloidal and supracolloidal assemblies. It is anticipated that these constructs could be made of different shapes, patterns and functionalities and could constitute the components of future nanodevices including sensors, actuators or nanocircuits. Here we report a protocol that allowed us to fabricate such nanoparticle aggregates. The building blocks of the constructs were anionically coated iron oxide nanocrytals (superparamagnetic, size 7 nm) and cationic-neutral block copolymers. We have shown that the electrostatic interactions between charged species can be controlled by tuning the ionic strength of the dispersion. Under appropriate conditions, the control of electrostatics resulted in the elaboration of spherical or elongated aggregates at the micrometer length scale. The elongated aggregates were found to be rod-like, with diameters of a few hundred nanometers and lengths between 1 and 50 micrometers. In addition to their remarkable stiffness, the nanostructured rods were found to reorient along with an externally applied magnetic field, in agreement with the laws of superparamagnetism.Comment: 6 pages, 5 figures, appeared in Advanced materials in September 2008, reference

    Interactions between Magnetic Nanowires and Living Cells : Uptake, Toxicity and Degradation

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    We report on the uptake, toxicity and degradation of magnetic nanowires by NIH/3T3 mouse fibroblasts. Magnetic nanowires of diameters 200 nm and lengths comprised between 1 {\mu}m and 40 {\mu}m are fabricated by controlled assembly of iron oxide ({\gamma}-Fe2O3) nanoparticles. Using optical and electron microscopy, we show that after 24 h incubation the wires are internalized by the cells and located either in membrane-bound compartments or dispersed in the cytosol. Using fluorescence microscopy, the membrane-bound compartments were identified as late endosomal/lysosomal endosomes labeled with lysosomal associated membrane protein (Lamp1). Toxicity assays evaluating the mitochondrial activity, cell proliferation and production of reactive oxygen species show that the wires do not display acute short-term (< 100 h) toxicity towards the cells. Interestingly, the cells are able to degrade the wires and to transform them into smaller aggregates, even in short time periods (days). This degradation is likely to occur as a consequence of the internal structure of the wires, which is that of a non-covalently bound aggregate. We anticipate that this degradation should prevent long-term asbestos-like toxicity effects related to high aspect ratio morphologies and that these wires represent a promising class of nanomaterials for cell manipulation and microrheology.Comment: 21 pages 12 figure

    Parallelized Manipulation of Adherent Living Cells by Magnetic Nanoparticles-Mediated Forces

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    The remote actuation of cellular processes such as migration or neuronal outgrowth is a challenge for future therapeutic applications in regenerative medicine. Among the different methods that have been proposed, the use of magnetic nanoparticles appears to be promising, since magnetic fields can act at a distance without interactions with the surrounding biological system. To control biological processes at a subcellular spatial resolution, magnetic nanoparticles can be used either to induce biochemical reactions locally or to apply forces on different elements of the cell. Here, we show that cell migration and neurite outgrowth can be directed by the forces produced by a switchable parallelized array of micro-magnetic pillars, following the passive uptake of nanoparticles. Using live cell imaging, we first demonstrate that adherent cell migration can be biased toward magnetic pillars and that cells can be reversibly trapped onto these pillars. Second, using differentiated neuronal cells we were able to induce events of neurite outgrowth in the direction of the pillars without impending cell viability. Our results show that the range of forces applied needs to be adapted precisely to the cellular process under consideration. We propose that cellular actuation is the result of the force on the plasma membrane caused by magnetically filled endo-compartments, which exert a pulling force on the cell periphery
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