During the last decades, magnetite nanoparticles have been in the focus of a tremendous amount of research due to their biocompatibility and excellent magnetic properties, and numerous applications have been reported. Importantly, advances in the synthesis of magnetite nanoparticles enable excellent control over their size, shape and composition. However, despite remarkable progresses in controlling the synthesis, functionalization and application of magnetite nanoparticles, many issues remain to be overcome for these nanotechnology-products to revolution the medical practice. The fine control and application of colloidal nanostructures such as magnetite nanoparticles in complex biological systems remains especially challenging. This article reviews the current literature and patent base of magnetite nanoparticles preparation and use, with a special emphasis on biomedical applications. The articles refers to the US patent numbers 4452773, 4554088, 4628037, 4654267, 4672040, 4695392, 4695393, 4770183, 4795698, 4827945, 4951675, 5069216, 5219554, 5262176, 5314679, 5759793, 6048515, 6203777, 6207133, 6,479033, 6479146, 6514481, 6576221, 6599498, 6767635, 6773812, 6962685, 6997863, 7074175, 7128891, 7147742, 7175912, 7208134, and 7273580, as well as European patent number EP1494028.
School of Advanced Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering, Mawson Institute, University of South Australia, Mawson Lakes Campus, Mawson Lakes, Adelaide, SA 5095, Australia.