DOI: 10.3390/ma17061229 ISSN: 1996-1944

A Study of Hyaluronic Acid’s Theoretical Reactivity and of Magnetic Nanoparticles Capped with Hyaluronic Acid

Mihaela Răcuciu, Simona Oancea, Lucian Barbu-Tudoran, Olga Drăghici, Anda Agavriloaei, Dorina Creangă
  • General Materials Science

Hyaluronic acid (HA) has attracted much attention in tumor-targeted drug delivery due to its ability to specifically bind to the CD44 cellular receptor, which is widely expressed on cancer cells. We present HA-capped magnetic nanoparticles (HA-MNPs) obtained via the co-precipitation method, followed by the electrostatic adsorption of HA onto the nanoparticles’ surfaces. A theoretical study carried out with the PM3 method evidenced a dipole moment of 3.34 D and negatively charged atom groups able to participate in interactions with nanoparticle surface cations and surrounding water molecules. The ATR-FTIR spectrum evidenced the hyaluronic acid binding to the surface of the ferrophase, ensuring colloidal stability in the water dispersion. To verify the success of the synthesis and stabilization, HA-MNPs were also characterized using other investigation techniques: TEM, EDS, XRD, DSC, TG, NTA, and VSM. The results showed that the HA-MNPs had a mean physical size of 9.05 nm (TEM investigation), a crystallite dimension of about 8.35 nm (XRD investigation), and a magnetic core diameter of about 8.31 nm (VSM investigation). The HA-MNPs exhibited superparamagnetic behavior, with the magnetization curve showing saturation at a high magnetic field and a very small coercive field, corresponding to the net dominance of single-domain magnetic nanoparticles that were not aggregated with reversible magnetizability. These features satisfy the requirement for magnetic nanoparticles with a small size and good dispersibility for long-term stability. We performed some preliminary tests regarding the nanotoxicity in the environment, and some chromosomal aberrations were found to be induced in corn root meristems, especially in the anaphase and metaphase of mitotic cells. Due to their properties, HA-MNPs also seem to be suitable for use in the biomedical field.

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