Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs), in particular those based on iron oxides, have attracted a lot of attention during the last years for their applications in nanomedicine. This is due to their unique physicochemical properties, such as good biocompatibility, their size in the nanoscale and their superparamagnetism, making them useful for drug delivery, MRI, magnetic targeting and magnetic fluid hyperthermia. Due to these promising properties, important work has also been taking place on MNPs in combination with proteins. MNPs can be used to improve the in vivo properties of therapeutic proteins, increasing their circulation half-lives. On the other hand, proteins are very important candidates to improve the in vivo fate of MNPs, as they can be used for their site-specific active targeting, as well as the enhancement of their colloidal stability in physiological conditions. In this review, we describe the most common preparation methods of protein modified MNPs used for biomedical applications and highlight the most promising ones for each purpose.
Keywords: Magnetic nanoparticles, iron oxide, proteins, therapeutics, active targeting, coating, biomedical applications.