Synthesis of magnetite-silica-carbon quantum dot nanocomposites for melatonin drug delivery

  • A. Faeghinia 1
  • Hossein Nuranian 1
  • Mojtaba Eslami 1
  • 1 Ceramics Department, Materials and Energy Research Center (MERC), P.O. Box 31779-83634, Karaj, Iran


In targeted drug delivery, the drug is released at a specific and desired point and condition. In this research, magnetite cores (high saturation magnetization property (emu.g-159) were used to target the drug system. First, magnetite nanoparticles were synthesized by coprecipitation method from divalent and trivalent chloride salts of iron (FeCl2 and FeCl3), then mesoporous silicas (with a pore diameter of 13 nm) were formed by Stöber's method from the tetraethylorthosilicate (TEOS) silica source on magnetite cores in spheres form. After that, the carbon quantum dots were synthesized by hydrothermal method from citric acid and their surface was immobilized by dimethylamine which were placed in silica cavities by physical adsorption method.

The effective drug melatonin (6.46 mg of melatonin per 100 mg of the drug system) was also loaded on this system by physical absorption method and the release of this drug was carefully determined by the release from the dialysis bag in the simulated environment of blood and cancer tissue. the quantum gain of the system was determined to be about 40%. The results showed that the loading of melatonin drug and carbon quantum dots was done well on silica nanoparticles with magnetite cores, and this system releases 30% of the drug even under temperature conditions.


Download data is not yet available.
Keywords: Melatonin, Silica, Magnetic particles, Drug delivery, Synthesis


[1] N. Khan, F. Afaq, H. Mukhtar, Lifestyle as risk factor for cancer: Evidence from human studies, Cancer Lett. 293 (2010) 133–143.
[2] N.G. Zaorsky, T.M. Churilla, B.L. Egleston, S.G. Fisher, J.A. Ridge, et al., Causes of death among cancer patients, Ann. Oncol. 28 (2017) 400–407.
[3] R. Narayan, U.Y. Nayak, A.M. Raichur, S. Garg, Mesoporous silica nanoparticles: A comprehensive review on synthesis and recent advances, Pharmaceutics. 10 (2018) 1–49.
[4] L. Shen, B. Li, Y. Qiao, Fe3O4 nanoparticles in targeted drug/gene delivery systems, Materials (Basel). 11 (2018) 1–29.
[5] M.L. Chen, Y. J. He, X. W. Chen, J. H. Wang, Quantum dots conjugated with Fe3O4-filled carbon nanotubes for cancer-targeted imaging and magnetically guided drug delivery, Langmuir. 28 (2012) 16469–16476.
[6] A. Yadegari, J. Khezri, S. Esfandiari, H. Mahdavi, A.A. Karkhane, et al., Bottom-up synthesis of nitrogen and oxygen co-decorated carbon quantum dots with enhanced DNA plasmid expression, Colloids Surf. B. 184 (2019) 110543.
[7] D.-R. Hang, D.-Y. Sun, C.-H. Chen, H.-F. Wu, M.-S. Chou, et al., Facile Bottom-up Preparation of WS2-Based Water-Soluble Quantum Dots as Luminescent Probes for Hydrogen Peroxide and Glucose, Nanoscale Res. Lett. 14 (2019) 271.
[8] I.-A. Baragau, N.P. Power, D.J. Morgan, T. Heil, R.A. Lobo, et al., Continuous hydrothermal flow synthesis of blue-luminescent, excitation-independent nitrogen-doped carbon quantum dots as nanosensors, J. Mater. Chem. A. 8 (2020) 3270–3279.
[9] P. Rawat, P. Nain, S. Sharma, P.K. Sharma, V. Malik, et al., An overview of synthetic methods and applications of photoluminescence properties of carbon quantum dots, Luminescence. 38 (2023) 845–866.
[10] Y. Li, S.Li, Y. Zhou, X. Meng, J.-J. Zhang, et al., Melatonin for the prevention and treatment of cancer, Oncotarget. 8 (2017) 39896–39921.
[11] G.A. Bubenik, Gastrointestinal melatonin: Localization, function, and clinical relevance, Dig. Dis. Sci. 47 (2002) 2336–2348.
[12] J. Liu, F. Huang, H.W. He, Melatonin effects on hard tissues: Bone and tooth, Int. J. Mol. Sci. 14 (2013) 10063–10074.
[13] P. Zrazhevskiy, M. Sena, X. Gao. Designing multifunctional quantum dots for bioimaging, detection, and drug delivery, Chem. Soc. Rev. 39 (2010): 4326–4354.
[14] P. Lissoni, F. Paolorossi, G. Tancini, A. Ardizzoia, S. Barni, F. Brivio, et al., A phase II study of tamoxifen plus melatonin in metastatic solid tumour patients, Br. J. Cancer. 74 (1996) 1466–1468.
[15] S. Sun, H. Zeng, Size-controlled synthesis of magnetite nanoparticles, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 124 (2002) 8204–8205.
[16] M. Martínez-Carmona, Y.K. Gun’ko, M. Vallet-Regí, Mesoporous silica materials as drug delivery: ‘the nightmare’ of bacterial infection, Pharmaceutics. 10 (2018) 1–29.
[17] R. Sagayaraj, S. Aravazhi, G. Chandrasekaran, Review on structural and magnetic properties of (Co–Zn) ferrite nanoparticles, Int. Nano Lett. 11 (2021) 307–319.
[18] H. Li, Z. Kang, Y. Liu, S.-T. Lee, Carbon nanodots: synthesis, properties and applications, J. Mater. Chem. 22 (2012) 24230–24253.
[19] L. Felicetti, M. Femminella, G. Reali, P. Liò, A Molecular Communication System in Blood Vessels for Tumor Detection, Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY. (2014) 1–9.
[20] V. Agrahari, P.-A. Burnouf, T. Burnouf, V. Agrahari, Nanoformulation properties, characterization, and behavior in complex biological matrices: Challenges and opportunities for brain-targeted drug delivery applications and enhanced translational potential, Adv. Drug Deliv. Rev. 148 (2019) 146–180.
[21] N. Mozafari, N. Mozafari, A. Dehshahri, A. Azadi, Knowledge Gaps in Generating Cell-Based Drug Delivery Systems and a Possible Meeting with Artificial Intelligence, Mol. Pharmaceutics. 20 (2023) 3757–3778.
[22] H.C. Zhang, H. Ming, S. Lian, H. Huang, H. Li, et al., Fe2O3 / carbon quantum dots complex photocatalysts and their enhanced photocatalytic activity under visible light, Dalton Trans. 40 (2011) 10822-10825.
[23] S. Zhu, Y. Song, X. Zhao, J. Shao, J. Zhang, B. Yang, The photoluminescence mechanism in carbon dots (graphene quantum dots, carbon nanodots, and polymer dots): current state and future perspective, Nano Res. 8 (2015) 355–381.
[24] A. Carrillo-Vico, P.J. Lardone, N. Álvarez-Śnchez, A. Rodrĩguez-Rodrĩguez, J.M. Guerrero, Melatonin: Buffering the immune system, Int. J. Mol. Sci. 14 (2013) 8638–8683.

Cited By

Crossref Google Scholar
Synthesis of magnetite-silica-carbon quantum dot nanocomposites for melatonin drug delivery
How to Cite
Faeghinia, A., Nuranian, H., & Eslami, M. (2023). Synthesis of magnetite-silica-carbon quantum dot nanocomposites for melatonin drug delivery. Synthesis and Sintering, 3(2), 79-87.