Biocompatible polymer-magnetite hybrid nanoparticles were prepared by means of in situ synthesis of magnetite within polysaccharide hydrogel nanoparticles. Hydrogel nanoparticles were first fabricated by blending high-molecular-weight carboxymethyl cellulose as an anionic polymer, and low-molecular-weight chitosan as a cationic polymer to form polyion complexes (CC particles). These polyion complexes were then chemically crosslinked using genipin, a bio-based cross-linker, to form stable nanoparticles having a semi-IPN structure (CCG particles). Magnetite was lastly synthesized within CCG particles by the coprecipitation method to obtain polymer-magnetite hybrid nanoparticles (CCGM particles). The formations of CC, CCG and CCGM particles were mainly observed by transmittance, absorbance of genipin and TEM, respectively, and their hydrodynamic diameters and zeta-potentials were analyzed. It was confirmed that the hydrodynamic diameters and the zeta-potentials of these particles were significantly influenced by pH of the suspension, which was attributed to the charges of polymers. The diameters of CCGM particles were smaller than 200. nm at any pH conditions, suggesting the possibility to apply them as drug delivery carriers. CCGM particles exhibited the responsiveness to a magnetic field in addition to their high dispersion stability, indicating their potential to be utilized as a biomaterial for hyperthermia.
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