Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) possess unique magnetic properties and the ability to function
at the cellular and molecular level of biological interactions making them an attractive platform
as carriers for drug delivery. Recent advances in nanotechnology have improved the ability to
specifically tailor the features and properties of MNPs for these biomedical applications. To better
address specific clinical needs, MNPs with higher magnetic moments, non-fouling surfaces, and
increased functionalities are now being developed for applications in the detection, diagnosis, and
treatment of malignant tumors, cardiovascular disease, and neurological disease. Through the
incorporation of highly specific targeting agents and other functional ligands, such as fluorophores
and permeation enhancers, the applicability and efficacy of these MNPs have greatly increased.
This review provides a background on applications of MNPs as carriers for drug delivery and an
overview of the recent developments in this area of research.