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Preparation of hollow magnetite microspheres and their applications as drugs carriers

Francisco Márquez1*, Gloria M Herrera2, Teresa Campo3, María Cotto1, José Ducongé1, José M Sanz3, Eduardo Elizalde3, Óscar Perales4 and Carmen Morant3

Author Affiliations

1 School of Science and Technology, University of Turabo, Gurabo 00778, PR, USA

2 Department of Chemistry, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez 00681, PR, USA

3 Departamento de Física Aplicada C-XII, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Cantoblanco 28049, Madrid, Spain

4 Department of General Engineering, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez 00681, PR, USA

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:210  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-210

Published: 10 April 2012


Hollow magnetite microspheres have been synthesized by a simple process through a template-free hydrothermal approach. Hollow microspheres were surface modified by coating with a silica nanolayer. Pristine and modified hollow microparticles were characterized by field-emission electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, FT-IR and Raman spectroscopy, and VSM magnetometry. The potential application of the modified hollow magnetite microspheres as a drug carrier was evaluated by using Rhodamine B and methotrexate as model drugs. The loading and release kinetics of both molecules showed a clear pH and temperature dependent profile.

Graphical abstract

Hollow magnetite microspheres have been synthesized. Load-release experiments with Rhodamine-B as a model drug and with Methotrexate (chemotherapy drug used in treating certain types of cancer) demonstrated the potential applications of these nanostructures in biomedical applications.

Fe3O4; Drug carrier; Rhodamine-B; Methotrexate