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Controlled cobalt doping of magnetosomes in vivo

DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2008.35 DOI Help
PMID: 18654488 PMID Help

Authors: Sarah Staniland (School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh) , Wyn Williams (School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh) , Andrew Harrison (School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh) , Bruce Ward (School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh) , Neil Telling (Keele University) , Gerrit Van Der Laan (Diamond Light Source)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Nature Nanotechnology , VOL 3 (3) , PAGES 158 - 162

State: Published (Approved)
Published: March 2008

Abstract: Magnetotactic bacteria biomineralize iron into magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles that are surrounded by lipid vesicles. These 'magnetosomes' have considerable potential for use in bio- and nanotechnological applications because of their narrow size and shape distribution and inherent biocompatibility(1-3). The ability to tailor the magnetic properties of magnetosomes by chemical doping would greatly expand these applications(4,5); however, the controlled doping of magnetosomes has so far not been achieved. Here, we report controlled in vivo cobalt doping of magnetosomes in three strains of the bacterium Magnetospirillum. The presence of cobalt increases the coercive field of the magnetosomes-that is, the field necessary to reverse their magnetization-by 36-45%, depending on the strain and the cobalt content. With elemental analysis, X-ray absorption and magnetic circular dichroism, we estimate the cobalt content to be between 0.2 and 1.4%. These findings provide an important advance in designing biologically synthesized nanoparticles with useful highly tuned magnetic properties.

Subject Areas: Physics


Instruments: NONE-No attached Diamond beamline

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