The article presents results of a study of TEMPO-labeled polymer coated superparamagnetic iron(II,III) oxide nanoparticles using both Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopy and Electron Paramagnetic Resonance imaging technique (EPRI). The X-band (9.4 GHz) EPR spectroscopy was used to investigate the behavior of TEMPO-labeled polymer coated magnetite nanoparticles in different conditions (temperature and orientation in magnetic field). The broad line, which comes from the core of Fe3O4 nanoparticles, shows anisotropy. This signal broadens with decreasing temperature, its intensity increases with increasing temperature and the g factor decreases with increasing temperature. The shape of the signal from nitroxide radical strongly depends on temperature. When temperature is higher than 200 K, a narrow triplet appears, but when it is lower than 200 K the signal consists of broad asymmetric lines. Analysis of the signal allowed characterization of the motion of the spin label attached to nanoparticles. Values of anisotropy parameter ɛ and rotational correlation time τc were calculated for TEMPO in the fast rotation regime.
The ability of TEMPO-labeled PEG coated magnetite nanoparticles to diffuse within the hydrogel medium was also investigated. The EPR imaging of nanoparticles diffusion in hydrogel was made at room temperature using an EPR L-band (1 GHz) spectrometer. EPRI has been proved effective for evaluation of changes in the spatial distribution of nanoparticles in the sample.