Depending on age, health condition and weight, the human body natural contains iron in a quantity of 2 to 4 grams. The main part of the body’s iron is bound to hemoglobin, which creates a protein complex that is able to bind the oxygen in the red blood cells. The other part binds to hemosiderin, myoglobin, ferritin and enzymes, in which iron is stored and released to the organism, if needed. Iron deficiency is one of the most widespread nutritional deficiencies worldwide. Causes of iron deficiency can be the following:
- Insufficient absorption, such as insufficient intake of food or malnutrition
- Increased demand, in case of pregnancy, lactation or children and adolescents in growth
- Increased loss, like acute or chronic blood loss or surgeries
Women of childbearing age, persons of advanced age, athletes and patients with chronic inflammatory diseases are at a particularly high risk of iron deficiency, and thus also anemia. In these cases, substitution with different iron preparations is needed.
In order to fulfill the strict requirements for pharmaceutical products, injections have to be characterized and tested thoroughly before they can be sold and administered. In this application report, we characterize and analyze two different ferric nanoparticle formulations by means of their size, shape and zeta potential using two complementary techniques: DLS/ELS (dynamic and electrophoretic light scattering) and SAXS (small-angle X-ray scattering) highlighting the complementary results beneficial for characterizing different iron formulations.