Nanomachines & Nanomanipulation Development of Functionalized Magnetic polymer nanobeads for biomolecular sensing using soft templating

Magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles have met with increasing interest due to potential biomedical applications. More specifically, the synthesis of magnetic polymer nanobeads have attracted much attention due their unique properties that make them particularly suitable for applications such as cancer therapy by hyperthermia, drug delivery systems, antibody immobilization, cell and microorganism separation and isolation of nucleic acid sequences, proteins or other biomolecules.

Magnetic polymer nanobeads are nanocomposite materials whose magnetic properties are given by magnetic nanoparticles embedded in a polymer matrix.

The main requirements in magnetic nanobeads for their use in a sensing are:

-     Uniform Size

-     Superparamagnetic behavior with high saturation magnetization

-     Colloidal stability

-     Easy functionalization to impart specific functions for desired applications.

Several pre-polymers and monomers can be used for preparation of magnetic beads, such as PLGA, PLA, dextran, chitosan, polyvinyl alcohol, poly(ethylene imine), polystyrene, glycidyl methacrylate and divinilbenzene among others. Also, several soft colloidal methods of preparation can be employed to synthesize magnetic polymer beads: emulsion (simple and double, micro and nano-emulsion), suspension polymerization, precipitation, etc.