Superparamagnetic 3-mercaptopropionic acid capped FePt nanoparticles as delivery carriers of curcumin and their preferential cytotoxic effect on MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells

Document Type : Original research


School of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


In this study, functionalized superparamagnetic FePt nanoparticles (NPs) as carriers for targeted delivery of curcumin (CUR) to tumors were developed. FePt NPs were synthesized via the co-reduction of metal salts in the presence of 3-mercaptopropionic acid (MPA) to form water-dispersible carboxyl-terminated superparamagnetic NPs. CUR molecules were then conjugated to the particles through the activation of the carboxyl functional groups by 1,1′-carbonyldiimidazole (CDI) and the formation of ester bonds. XRD, FTIR, TEM, DLS, EDS and VSM were performed to evaluate the structure and properties of the particles. As-synthesized CUR-conjugated FePt NPs (CUR-FePt) were spherical core-shell structured particles with an average size of 17 nm, and the particles showed superparamagnetic properties even after the CUR conjugation. The in-vitro release results indicated relatively high CUR conjugation stability, and only 22% of CUR molecules were released after a 16 h period. MTT cytotoxicity evaluations showed that the conjugation of CUR to the surface of the particles did not alert the anticancer activity of CUR against MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell lines. Moreover, no cytotoxic activity was observed against HEK293 normal cells. The results qualify the as-synthesized functionalized FePt NPs as potent candidates for magnetically guided drug delivery for cancer treatment.


Main Subjects

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