• • • Magnetic nanoparticles are a class of engineered particulate materials that can be manipulated under the influence of an external magnetic field. They are commonly composed of magnetic elements, such as Fe, Ni, Co and their oxides like magnetite (Fe3O4), maghemite (٧-Fe2O3), cobalt ferrite (Fe2CoO4) etc. They have been the focus of much research recently because they possess these properties: small size (1-100nm) comparable to virus, proteins; large surface area; superparamagnetic; amenable to surface modification – solubility, biocompatibility can be manipulated. Challenges in MNP research: 1) a good synthesis route for manufacturing monodisperse MNPs 2) a good method to functionalize the surface of the nanoparticles • Synthesis: 1) Precipitation from soln – Coprecipitation, Microemulsions, Polyols, Thermal decomposition 2) Aerosol/vapor methods – Spray Pyrolysis, Laser Pyrolysis 3) Biomimetic – Magnetosome (magnetotactic bacteria), Ferritin • Functionalization of MNP is an effective approach to modify their surface properties. Two types – 1) Biological functionalization – Attachment of biological entities like proteins, Ligands, antibodies etc. 2) Chemical functionalization - Chemical functional groups and polymer chains linked by bindings. • Considerations of a biomedical magnetic nanoparticle: toxicity, biocompatibility, uniformity in all respects of their size, magnetic and coating characteristics, easy synthesis and low cost. Biomedical Applications of MNPs: Targeted Drug delivery, Hyperthermia, MRI contrast agents, Transfection, Immunoassays, Biosensing, Magnetic relaxation switching technology, Magnetic separation, remote control of cellular behavior using nanomagnetic actuation etc. Principle used in most MNP applications: Magnetic nanoparticle tagged cells or molecules, provide the ability to be directed and concentrated within the target by means of external magnetic field and to be removed when desired.

• Use of MNPs as MRI contrast agents and in Magnetic relaxation switching technology exploit the fact that under an external magnetic field, the magnetic dipole of superparamagnetic nanoparticles align along it and produces a local magnetic field, which increases T2 relaxation of nearby protons.