A versatile synthetic route towards gelatin-silica hybrids and magnetic composite colloidal nanoparticles


We report a versatile synthetic route for the preparation of nearly monodispersed spherical gelatin-silica hybrid nanoparticles. These hybrids have been synthesized by means of a non-emulsion sol-gel method involving the base-catalyzed hydrolysis and condensation of gelatin modified with different functional coupling agents. The method is effective for preparing hybrids of both gelatin type A and B, and the alkoxysilane coupling agents 3-isocyanatopropyltriethoxysilane (ICPTES) and 3-glycidoxypropyltrimethoxysilane (GPTMS). The ensuing gelatin-silica hybrid nanoparticles are spherical and uniform in morphology, with average sizes between 100 and 120 nm. The ICPTES seems to be more adequate to produce uniform nanospheres with narrow size distribution regardless the type of gelatin, while using GPTMS increases the roughness of the particles' surface. The hybrids are thermo-sensitive in the temperature range 25-70 degrees C, undergoing reversible volume transitions in response to thermal stimuli, which is of great relevance for biomedical applications such as thermally controlled drug-delivery systems. The synthetic approach was successfully employed to coat magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles with thin shells of a few nanometers of hybrid composition to obtain hybrid nanoparticles with magnetic features.



subject category

Science & Technology - Other Topics; Materials Science


Soares, SF; Fateixa, S; Trindade, T; Daniel-da-Silva, AL

our authors


This work was developed within the scope of the project CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials, UIDB/50011/2020 and UIDP/50011/2020, financed by national funds through the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology/MCTES. Fundacao para a Ciencia e Tecnologia (FCT) provided PhD grant SFRH/BD/121366/2016 to S. F. Soares. FCT for the research contract under the Program Investigador FCT 2014 and funding from the project IF/00405/2014 was provided to A. L. D.-d.-S. The costs resulting from the FCT hirings funded by national funds (OE), through FCT-Fundacao para a Ciencia e a Tecnologia, I.P., in the scope of the framework contract foreseen in the numbers 4, 5, and 6 of the article 23, of the Decree-Law 57/2016, of August 29, changed by Law 57/2017, of July 19, was provided to S. F.

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