Facile Surface Functionalization of Hydrophobic Magnetic Nanoparticles
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1021/ja5060324
Nonpolar phase synthesized hydrophobic nanocrystals show attractive properties and have demonstrated prominent potential in biomedical applications. However, the preparation of biocompatible nanocrystals is made difficult by the presence of hydrophobic surfactant stabilizer on their surfaces. To address this limitation, we have developed a facile, high efficiency, single-phase and low-cost method to convert hydrophobic magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) to an aqueous phase using tetrahydrofuran, NaOH and 3,4-dihydroxyhydrocinnamic acid without any complicated organic synthesis. The as-transferred hydrophilic MNPs are water-soluble over a wide pH range (pH = 3-12), and the solubility is pH-controllable. Furthermore, the as-transferred MNPs with carboxylate can be readily adapted with further surface functionalization, varying from small molecule dyes to oligonucleotides and enzymes. Finally, the strategy developed here can easily be extended to other types of hydrophobic nanoparticles to facilitate biomedical applications of nanomaterials.