Ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles coated with gummic acid have been investigated as possible constituents of aqueous ferrofluids for biomedical applications and especially for MRI contrast agent. The structural characteristics and the size of the nanoparticles have been analyzed as well as the magnetic properties. In order to evaluate any possible capabilities as a contrast agent, the relaxation time, T2, of hydrogen protons in the colloidal solutions of nanoparticles have been measured in order to gain information on the relaxation behavior compared to other MRI contrast agents. The in vitro cytotoxicity of the obtained magnetic nanoparticles of iron oxide coated with gummic acid was investigated by two separate methods (MTT and FACS analysis) and by using three different normal and transformed cell lines. Our results showed that the synthesized nanoparticles had no toxic effect on any of the cell lines used.

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