Synthesis, characterization, and applications of magnetic nanoparticles featuring polyzwitterionic coatings
Throughout the last decades, magnetic nanoparticles (MNP) have gained tremendous interest in different fields of applications like biomedicine (e.g., magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), drug delivery, hyperthermia), but also more technical applications (e.g., catalysis, waste water treatment) have been pursued. Different surfactants and polymers are extensively used for surface coating of MNP to passivate the surface and avoid or decrease agglomeration, decrease or modulate biomolecule absorption, and in most cases increase dispersion stability. For this purpose, electrostatic or steric repulsion can be exploited and, in that regard, surface charge is the most important (hybrid) particle property. Therefore, polyelectrolytes are of great interest for nanoparticle coating, as they are able to stabilize the particles in dispersion by electrostatic repulsion due to their high charge densities. In this review article, we focus on polyzwitterions as a subclass of polyelectrolytes and their use as coating materials for MNP. In the context of biomedical applications, polyzwitterions are widely used as they exhibit antifouling properties and thus can lead to minimized protein adsorption and also long circulation times.