Background: Nanoparticles synthesized in organic solvents have a wide variety of potential applications requiring aqueous solutions. There are no current phase-transfer methods currently capable of achieving highly uniform distribution of these nanoparticles in water. Technology Description: The present invention is a method of transferring hydrophobic nanoparticles into water. A small amount of excess oleic acid below critical micelle concentration is added to the organic solution containing the nanoparticles. When the solution is mixed with water the core nanoparticles are surrounded by lipid bilayers to create stable non-aggregated aqueous suspensions Applications: This method has the potential to form a standardized phase transfer procedure that can be applied commercially at large scale. Organically-derived nanoparticles in aqueous solutions have potential applications in medicine including quantum dot imaging and targeted drug delivery as well as in water purification and environmental cleanup.
1) Nanoparticles retain their original magnetic and optical properties 2) Transfers up to 70% of nanoparticles to aqueous phase 3) Minimal dynamic exchange between free and bound surface agents 4) Longer fatty acid chains may be used to incorporate larger molecules