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Quantitative magnetophoresis of micro and nano particles

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library
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  • Biology
  • Design
  • Medicine


Micro- and nanoscale magnetic particles are becoming increasingly utilized in a variety of settings. Magnetophoresis is commonly used in diagnostic devices, research applications, and medicinal science. The applications of magnetophoresis in drug delivery, gene transfection, and hyperthermic treatment of tumours are in the initial phases of development. While a large body of work in magnetophoresis exists, here are few reports of the relevant magnetophoretic parameters of a system being quantitatively correlated with driven particle mobility. The relationships between the size, shape, and magnetic properties of the particles, the applied magnetic field, and the viscosity of the medium are relevant to particle magnetophoresis and the design of magnetophoretic systems. The investigation described here begins with the room temperature magnetic characterization of the three particles used: commercial beads, nanorods, and for the first time ferritin. Ferritin is a magnetic protein which has been used extensively in a research context for labelling biological particles, however such systems have not been quantifiably characterized to enable the development of loading/force causal relationships. Here, a model platform was used to correlate for the first time, the quantified ferritin loading, the empirically determined magnetic properties of the ferritin labelled particles, and the magnetophoretic forces. The quantified magnetophoresis of spheres and rods in a model viscous medium and shear thinning polymer networks was performed for the first time. This investigation also represents the first report of particle shear thinning of DNA. The decreasing viscosity experienced by the particles in DNA points toward potential implications for considering the benefits of particle induced shear thinning in the designing of magnetic particle drug delivery systems. In the final investigation, the results of the previous chapters are brought together in the fabrication and magnetophoresis of a novel, ferritin based, rod shaped, biocompatible, nanoparticles. For the first time, magnetophoresis of the nanoparticles is demonstrated and validated by spatially resolved Raman spectroscopic analysis of the magnetically concentrated material. This dual component magnetic particle has potential application in the fabrication of new functionally graded biomaterials and drug and gene delivery.

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