Physical and Chemical Characterization of Therapeutic Iron Containing Materials: A Study of Several Superparamagnetic Drug Formulations with the Β-FeOOH Or Ferrihydrite Structure


The effectiveness of therapeutically used iron compounds is related to their physical and chemical properties. Four different iron compounds used in oral, intravenous, and intramuscular therapy have been examined by X-ray powder diffraction, iron-57 M6ssbauer spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, BET surface area measurement, potentiometric titration and studied through dissolution kinetics determinations using acid, reducing and chelating agents. All compounds are nanosized with particle diameters, as determined by X-ray diffraction, ranging from 1 to 4.1 nm. The superparamagnetic blocking temperatures, as determined by Mössbauer spectroscopy, indicate that the relative diameters of the aggregates range from 2.5 to 4.1 nm. Three of the iron compounds have an akaganeite-like structure, whereas one has a ferrihydrite-like structure. As powders the particles form large and dense aggregates which have a very low surface area on the order of 1 m2 g-1. There is evidence, however, that in a colloidal solution the surface area is increased by two to three orders of magnitude, presumably as a result of the break up of the aggregates. Iron release kinetics by acid, chelating and reducing agents reflect the high surface area, the size and crystallinity of the particles, and the presence of the protective carbohydrate layer coating the iron compound. Within a physiologically relevant time period, the iron release produced by acid or large chelating ligands is small. In contrast, iron is rapidly mobilized by small organic chelating agents, such as oxalate, or by chelate-forming reductants, such as thioglycolate.



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