Magnetosomes: Biological Synthesis of Magnetic Nanostructures

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The family of microorganisms called magnetotactic bacteria is well known for its ability to make nanosized magnetic crystals of iron oxide wrapped in an organic envelope, known as magnetosomes. These compartments form chains and function as compass needles pointing to the earth’s magnetic poles. Magnetosomes can be used as an innovative alternative to traditional chemical magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) because of their unique and advantageous properties: they are ferrimagnetic; have a narrow size distribution; are coated in organic material, which prevents aggregation; and can be functionalized in vivo using genetic engineering tools, allowing one-step manufacture of functionalized particles. Their applications include, for example, cancer treatment, MRI contrast agents, and metal capturing. Therefore, magnetosomes have the potential to become the next generation of biological MNPs produced using environmentally friendly routes. In this chapter, the unique properties of magnetosomes are presented. The mechanisms of magnetosome formation and their structures are described, followed by presenting the highlights around recent advances in magnetosome biomanufacturing and applications.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFundamentals of Low Dimensional Magnets
Place of PublicationBoca Raton
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781003197492
Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2022


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