Magnetic force microscopy: Quantitative issues in biomaterials

Daniele Passeri, Chunhua Dong, Melania Reggente, Livia Angeloni, Mario Barteri, Francesca A. Scaramuzzo, Francesca de Angelis, Fiorenzo Marinelli, Flavia Antonelli, Federica Rinaldi, Carlotta Marianecci, Maria Carafa, Angela Sorbo, Daniela Sordi, Isabel W C E Arends, Marco Rossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Magnetic force microscopy (MFM) is an atomic force microscopy (AFM) based technique in which an AFM tip with a magnetic coating is used to probe local magnetic fields with the typical AFM spatial resolution, thus allowing one to acquire images reflecting the local magnetic properties of the samples at the nanoscale. Being a well established tool for the characterization of magnetic recording media, superconductors and magnetic nanomaterials, MFM is finding constantly increasing application in the study of magnetic properties of materials and systems of biological and biomedical interest. After reviewing these latter applications, three case studies are presented in which MFM is used to characterize: (i) magnetoferritin synthesized using apoferritin as molecular reactor; (ii) magnetic nanoparticles loaded niosomes to be used as nanocarriers for drug delivery; (iii) leukemic cells labeled using folic acid-coated core-shell superparamagnetic nanoparticles in order to exploit the presence of folate receptors on the cell membrane surface. In these examples, MFM data are quantitatively analyzed evidencing the limits of the simple analytical models currently used. Provided that suitable models are used to simulate the MFM response, MFM can be used to evaluate the magnetic momentum of the core of magnetoferritin, the iron entrapment efficiency in single vesicles, or the uptake of magnetic nanoparticles into cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere29507
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Cell labelling
  • Drug delivery
  • Ferritin
  • Folic acid receptor
  • Leukemia cell
  • Magnetic force microscopy
  • Magnetic nanoparticle
  • Magnetoferritin
  • Niosome
  • Vesicle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Medicine(all)

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  • Cite this

    Passeri, D., Dong, C., Reggente, M., Angeloni, L., Barteri, M., Scaramuzzo, F. A., de Angelis, F., Marinelli, F., Antonelli, F., Rinaldi, F., Marianecci, C., Carafa, M., Sorbo, A., Sordi, D., Arends, I. W. C. E., & Rossi, M. (2014). Magnetic force microscopy: Quantitative issues in biomaterials. Biomatter, 4(6), [e29507].