Synthesis and evaluation of toxicity and antimicrobial activity of rifampicin associated with iron oxide nanoparticles




Antimicrobial, Artemia salina, Brine shrimp, Magnetic nanoparticles, Nanotoxicity, Staphylococcus aureus.


Rifampicin has broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity, but it can cause nephrotoxic and hepatotoxic damage because high doses are required. Nanosystems emerge as a perspective to improve the transport systems of this drug. In this work, iron oxide nanoparticles were synthesised, functionalized with lauric acid, and rifampicin was incorporated into the nanosystem. The samples were characterized by spectroscopic techniques: electronics in the visible ultraviolet region (UV-vis), vibrational absorption in the infrared region (IR), X-ray diffractometry (XRD), and dynamic light scattering (DSL). The toxicity of the nanocompounds and the antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923 were studied by the Artemia salina lethality and disc diffusion techniques, respectively. As a result, IR analysis showed characteristic vibrations of laurate and rifampicin on the surface of the nanosystem. The presence of magnetic iron oxide was confirmed by XRD and the mean diameter of the crystallites was 8.37 nm. The hydrodynamic diameter of rifampicin associated with the nanosystem was 402 nm and that of the nanosystem without rifampicin was 57 nm. The compounds did not show toxicity to Artemia salina and the in vitro antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus was slightly decreased when rifampicin was associated with the nanosystem. In general terms, the results showed that iron oxide nanoparticles showed no toxicity and reduced the toxicity of rifampicin by 41.54% when carried compared to free rifampicin. Therefore, magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles may have the potential to act as a platform for associated drugs.


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How to Cite

DE SOUSA, J.F.L., NAVES, P.L.F. and GUILHERME, L.R., 2023. Synthesis and evaluation of toxicity and antimicrobial activity of rifampicin associated with iron oxide nanoparticles. Bioscience Journal [online], vol. 39, pp. e380329. [Accessed26 March 2023]. DOI 10.14393/BJ-v39n0a2023-65125. Available from:



Biological Sciences