A porous collagen-based hydrogel scaffold was prepared in the presence of iron oxide nanoparticles (NPs) and was characterized by means of infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The hybrid scaffold was then loaded with fluorescein sodium salt as a model compound. The release of the hydrosoluble species was triggered and accurately controlled by the application of an external magnetic field, as monitored by fluorescence spectroscopy. The biocompatibility of the proposed matrix was also tested by the MTT assay performed on 3T3 cells. Cell viability was only slightly reduced when the cells were incubated in the presence of the collagen-NP hydrogel, compared to controls. The economicity of the chemical protocol used to obtain the paramagnetic scaffolds as well as their biocompatibility and the safety of the external trigger needed to induce the drug release suggest the proposed collagen paramagnetic matrices for a number of applications including tissue engeneering and drug delivery.
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