Cell Biology and Genetic Toxicology Laboratory, Centre of Advanced Study, Department of Botany, University of Calcutta, 35 Ballygunge Circular Road, Kolkata, 700 019, India. Electronic address: [Email]
Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPION) require stable surface modifications to render safe nanocapsules for biomedical applications. Herein, two types of surface modified poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)-encapsulated SPION were synthesized using either α-tocopheryl-polyetheleneglycol-succinate (TPGS) or didodecyl-dimethyl-ammonium-bromide (DMAB) as surfactants by emulsification. SPION-TPGS (180 nm) was larger than SPION-DMAB (25 nm) and uncoated SPION (10 nm). Both formulations were positively charged and induced lower cyto-genotoxicity and ROS generation than uncoated SPION in human lymphocytes. SPION-DMAB was least cyto-genotoxic among the three. Based on these results, mice were gavaged with the formulations for 5 consecutive days and biocompatibility studies were performed on the 7th and 21st days. ICP-AES and Prussian blue staining revealed the internalization of SPION-DMAB in brain and spleen, and SPION-TPGS in liver and kidney on day 7. This was correlated with high DNA damage and oxidative stress in the same organs. Substantial clearance of Fe was accompanied by reduced genotoxicity and oxidative stress on day 21. Therefore, SPION-DMAB can be further studied for oral drug delivery to the brain and imaging of cerebral tissue without any functional ligand or external magnetic field.