Thermal Responsive Iron Oxide Magnetic Nanoparticles

Introduction Stimuli-responsive materials and molecules have numerous possible applications in the biomedical/pharmaceutical field, as well as in biotechnology and the related industries. Smart conjugates, smart surfaces, smart polymeric micelles and smart hydrogels have all been studied for a variety of diagnostics, separations, cell culture, drug delivery, and bioprocess applications. Despite the development of magnetic nanoparticle technologies for diagnostic and imaging applications, there exists a need for a stimuli-responsive magnetic nanoparticle with favorable diffusive properties as well as with the ability to be reversibly aggregated into larger structures. Technology description Researchers at the UW have invented a thermal-responsive magnetic nanoparticle system for diagnostic target capture and concentration. Here, a magnetic core is coated with temperature-responsive polymers that exhibit a lower critical solution temperature (LCST) around which the polymer reversibly aggregates. While the magnetophoretic mobility of the individual nanoparticles below the LCST is negligible, the aggregates formed above the LCST are large enough to respond to an applied magnetic field. The polymers terminate with a functional group capable of covalent coupling with a capture molecule, providing a method for capturing a diagnostic target. Business opportunity This invention was designed for use in point-of-care diagnostics, which has a worldwide market value that is expected to surpass $16 billion by 2010. Intellectual property position The UW has a US patent pending on this technology. Related Publication(s)
Lai JJ et al, Dual Magnetic-/Temperature-Responsive Nanoparticles for Microfluidic Separations and Assays, Langmuir. 2007 February; 23 (13): 7385-7391

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