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Contrast Media & Molecular Imaging
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 8902424, 13 pages
Research Article

Key Parameters on the Microwave Assisted Synthesis of Magnetic Nanoparticles for MRI Contrast Agents

1Institute of Material Science of Madrid, ICMM-CSIC, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz 3, 28049 Madrid, Spain
2School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology, 315 Ferst Drive NW, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
3IMIDRA, Finca El Encin, Autovía del Noreste A-2, Km. 38.200, Alcalá de Henares, 28805 Madrid, Spain

Correspondence should be addressed to Maria Eugênia Fortes Brollo

Received 14 July 2017; Revised 20 October 2017; Accepted 5 November 2017; Published 4 December 2017

Academic Editor: Ralf Schirrmacher

Copyright © 2017 Maria Eugênia Fortes Brollo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Uniform iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles have been synthesized using a microwave assisted synthesis method in organic media and their colloidal, magnetic, and relaxometric properties have been analyzed after its transference to water and compared with those nanoparticles prepared by thermal decomposition in organic media. The novelty of this synthesis relies on the use of a solid iron oleate as precursor, which assures the reproducibility and scalability of the synthesis, and the microwave heating that resulted in being faster and more efficient than traditional heating methods, and therefore it has a great potential for nanoparticle industrial production. The effect of different experimental conditions such as the solvent, precursor, and surfactant concentration and reaction time as well as the transference to water is analyzed and optimized to obtain magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles with sizes between 8 and 15 nm and finally colloids suitable for their use as contrast agents on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). The relaxivity values normalized to the square of the saturation magnetization were shown to be constant and independent of the particle size, which means that the saturation magnetization is the main parameter controlling the efficiency of these magnetic nanoparticles as MRI -contrast agents.