Microfluidic-Assisted Production of Size-Controlled Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles-Loaded Poly(methyl methacrylate) Nanohybrids

Langmuir. 2018 Feb 6;34(5):1981-1991. doi: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.7b01928. Epub 2018 Jan 26.


In this paper, superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs, around 6 nm) encapsulated in poly(methyl methacrylate) nanoparticles (PMMA NPs) with controlled sizes ranging from 100 to 200 nm have been successfully produced. The hybrid polymeric NPs were prepared following two different methods: (1) nanoprecipitation and (2) nanoemulsification-evaporation. These two methods were implemented in two different microprocesses based on the use of an impact jet micromixer and an elongational-flow microemulsifier. SPIONs-loaded PMMA NPs synthesized by the two methods presented completely different physicochemical properties. The polymeric NPs prepared with the micromixer-assisted nanoprecipitation method showed a heterogeneous dispersion of SPIONs inside the polymer matrix, an encapsulation efficiency close to 100 wt %, and an irregular shape. In contrast, the polymeric NPs prepared with the microfluidic-assisted nanoemulsification-evaporation method showed a homogeneous dispersion, an almost complete encapsulation, and a spherical shape. The properties of the polymeric NPs have been characterized by dynamic light scattering, thermogravimetric analysis, and transmission electron microscope. In vitro cytotoxicity assays were also performed on the nanohybrids and pure PMMA NPs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't