Iron and Iron Oxides - Uptake

Since superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPION) are mainly used for medical purposes, the roles of the lung, the skin, and the gastrointestinal tract as the main entrance gates are of secondary importance. Direct administration (e.g. intravenous injection into the bloodstream) causes the particles to distribute in the body rapidly and as desired. SPION can be coated with special proteins (e.g. with folate for marking cancer cells) to be conducted towards selected cells or organs.

Iron as a vital trace element ensures that animals and plants grow well and stay healthy. However, excessive levels of iron can also have harmful effects on organisms. Iron reacts easily with oxygen ("rusting"), forming iron oxides. Both iron and iron oxide nanoparticles can have different effects on environmental organisms due to their different properties.

 

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