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Question on Ferrofluid

  1. Sep 17, 2008 #1
    I recently did a lab report on ferrofluid for chemistry and am having difficulty with some questions. I was wondering if I could get some help.


    *Are there advantages to an oil-based ferrofluid compared to an aqueous ferrofluid?


    *Researchers have explored ways to attach medications to ferrofluid to deliver drugs to specific locations in the body. Explain how this would work. What are some considerations that need to be made in order to undergo these types of treatments?


    *If the diameter of the average ferrofluid nanoparticle is 100 nm, how many times larger is an iron filing. Include the assumptions that you use in your answer.


    Many thanks to whoever can help me out.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 18, 2008 #2

    Borek

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    What do you know about iron reactivity?
     
  4. Sep 18, 2008 #3

    chemisttree

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    I would say "yes".


    How might you localize the delivery of something that is magnetic?

    What is the first assumption you should make regarding iron filings?
     
  5. Sep 18, 2008 #4
    Are you asking how iron reacts with different ions in general or something different? I'm apologize for not understanding the question, but I'm quite awful when it comes to chemistry.

    To localize the delivery, wouldn't you need an actual magnetic piece or magnetic attraction for the ferrofluid to be attracted to? Like something that's magnetic so it attracts the ferrofluid yet dissolvable so it doesn't need to remain in the body?

    First assumption about iron filings is that they're visible to the naked eye. Do you mean relate it to what the eye can visibly see vs. what it can't i.e. something thats looks like a tiny crumb vs. something thats 1 E^-7 in size?
     
  6. Sep 18, 2008 #5

    mgb_phys

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    But you know that iron rusts!

    Would it need to be inside the body to attract the ferrofluid?
     
  7. Sep 18, 2008 #6
    Wow, I feel stupid. Aqueous ferrofluid would result in rust, thereby making the ferrofluid inefficient.

    I suppose not. A magnet could be placed in the area of the region outside of the body that the ferrofluid needs to enter, just depends on how strong the attraction would be in order to not damage any vital organs.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2008
  8. Sep 18, 2008 #7

    mgb_phys

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    Exactly, and even very strong B fields eg. an NMR have no adverse effects on the body.
     
  9. Sep 18, 2008 #8
    Couple of other questions.

    1) This is just to make sure that I answered this question correctly, but in the ferrofluid, there are two ions of Fe 3+ and one ion of Fe 2+ present, correct?

    2) Having a bit of difficulty understanding this question:

    *You prepared aqueous ferrofluid, but the ferrofluid that is often commercially sold is an oil-based ferrofluid. Describe what changes you would need to make in the surfactant for an oil-based ferrofluid.

    Again, any help is greatly appreciated.
     
  10. Sep 19, 2008 #9

    GCT

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    The question claims " the surfactant " , is the question asking that the aqueous version be incorporated into an oil solution?
     
  11. Sep 21, 2008 #10
    Except that magnetite is fairly inert. It is used as a means of preventing steel from corroding. It is supposedly possible to oxidize nanoscale magnetite (Fe3O4), like that used this lab, into maghemite (Fe2O3), but it isn't a natural occurring process in ferrofluids. Scientist are experimenting with ways to do so because maghemite has useful properties as a semiconductor. Even if the magnetite was oxidized into maghemite, it shouldn't matter because maghemite is also paramagnetic.
     
  12. Sep 23, 2008 #11

    chemisttree

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    For a water-in-oil dispersion, the polar head would be aimed where? How about the nonpolar tail? Which direction on the HLB scale would you go to solubilize a polar compound in an oily solvent?
     
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