Different Storage Conditions Influence Biocompatibility and Physicochemical Properties of Iron Oxide Nanoparticles
Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) have attracted increasing attention in many biomedical fields. In magnetic drug targeting SPIONs are injected into a tumour supplying artery and accumulated inside the tumour with a magnet. The effectiveness of this therapy is thus dependent on magnetic properties, stability and biocompatibility of the particles. A good knowledge of the effect of storage conditions on those parameters is of utmost importance for the translation of the therapy concept into the clinic and for reproducibility in preclinical studies. Here, core shell SPIONs with a hybrid coating consisting of lauric acid and albumin were stored at different temperatures from 4 to 45 °C over twelve weeks and periodically tested for their physicochemical properties over time. Surprisingly, even at the highest storage temperature we did not observe denaturation of the protein or colloidal instability. However, the saturation magnetisation decreased by maximally 28.8% with clear correlation to time and storage temperature. Furthermore, the biocompatibility was clearly affected, as cellular uptake of the SPIONs into human T-lymphoma cells was crucially dependent on the storage conditions. Taken together, the results show that the particle properties undergo significant changes over time depending on the way they are stored.