CONTROL OF SIZE AND MAGNETIC PROPERTIES OF CARBOXYL-FUNCTIONALIZED MAGNETITE PARTICLES: SYNTHESIS PROCEDURES, CHARACTERIZATIONS, AND APPLICATIONS
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Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) are known for the unique properties conferred by their small size and have found wide application in food safety analyses. However, their high surface energy and strong magnetization often lead to aggregation, compromising their functions. In this study, iron oxide magnetic particles (MPs) over the range of nano to micro size were synthesized, from which particles with less aggregation and excellent magnetic properties were obtained. MPs were synthesized via three different hydrothermal procedures, using poly (acrylic acid) (PAA) of different molecular weight (Mw) as the stabilizer. The particle size, morphology, and magnetic properties of the MPs from these synthesis procedures were characterized and compared. Among the three syntheses, one-step hydrothermal synthesis demonstrated the highest yield and most efficient magnetic collection of the resulting PAA-coated magnetic microparticles (PAA-MMPs, >100 nm). Iron oxide content of these PAA-MMPs was around 90%, and the saturation magnetization ranged from 70.3 emu/g to 57.0 emu/g, depending on the Mw of PAA used. In this approach, the particles prepared using PAA with Mw of 100K g/mol exhibited super-paramagnetic behavior with ~65% lower coercivity and remanence compared to others. They were therefore less susceptible to aggregation and remained remarkably water-dispersible even after one-month storage. Three applications involving PAA-MMPs from one-step hydrothermal synthesis were explored: food proteins and enzymes immobilization, antibody conjugation for pathogen capture, and magnetic hydrogel film fabrication. These studies demonstrated their versatile functions as well as their potential applications in the food science area.