Iron and Iron Oxides - Behaviour

Iron oxide nanoparticles are mainly taken up via receptor-mediated endocytosis. They are then metabolised in the lysosomes of the cells.

Direct administration into the body (e.g. intravenous injection into the bloodstream) leads to an as-desired rapid distribution of the particles in the whole body. SPION can be coated with special proteins (e.g. with folate for marking cancer cells) to be conducted towards selected cells or organs.

The blood-brain barrier is a very efficient barrier against toxic agents. However, while protecting the brain from harmful impacts, it impedes the selective application of drugs (for example against tumors of the brain) and the efficient perfusion of contrast agents during magnetic resonance tomography (MRT).

The environmental behavior of iron and iron oxide nanoparticles is affected by numerous different factors. Particles in water are influenced, among other things, by the salt content of the environment, the pH-value, and the presence of dissolved organic substances. Uncoated technical nanoparticles behave like naturally occurring iron-based nanoparticles and agglomerate to a certain degree.


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