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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 7859289, 8 pages
Research Article

Preparation and Characterisation of Highly Stable Iron Oxide Nanoparticles for Magnetic Resonance Imaging

1Central European Institute of Technology, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic
2Central European Institute of Technology, Brno University of Technology, Brno, Czech Republic
3Institute of Scientific Instruments of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic
4Materials Research Centre, Faculty of Chemistry, Brno University of Technology, Brno, Czech Republic

Correspondence should be addressed to Jaromír Hubálek

Received 2 October 2016; Revised 29 December 2016; Accepted 16 January 2017; Published 23 February 2017

Academic Editor: Paulo Cesar Morais

Copyright © 2017 David Kovář 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.


Magnetic nanoparticles produced using aqueous coprecipitation usually exhibit wide particle size distribution. Synthesis of small and uniform magnetic nanoparticles has been the subject of extensive research over recent years. Sufficiently small superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles easily permeate tissues and may enhance the contrast in magnetic resonance imaging. Furthermore, their unique small size also allows them to migrate into cells and other body compartments. To better control their synthesis, a chemical coprecipitation protocol was carefully optimised regarding the influence of the injection rate of base and incubation times. The citrate-stabilised particles were produced with a narrow average size range below 2 nm and excellent stability. The stability of nanoparticles was monitored by long-term measurement of zeta potentials and relaxivity. Biocompatibility was tested on the Caki-2 cells with good tolerance. The application of nanoparticles for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was then evaluated. The relaxivities and ratio calculated from MR images of prepared phantoms indicate the nanoparticles as a promising -contrast probe.