Hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogel particles were synthesized in a single step employing water-in-oil microemulsion system. The HA particles were formed in the micro-environments of aqueous HA solution in oil by chemical crosslinking with divinyl sulfone (DVS). To produce magnetic field responsive HA-composite particles, iron magnetic nanoparticles were introduced into microemulsion system during synthesis to obtain HA-magnetic composites. For this purpose, iron nanoparticles were separately synthesized and mixed with linear HA followed by chemical crosslinking of linear HA with DVS in the micro-environments to envelope magnetic metal nanoparticles in the emulsion system. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), dynamic light scattering (DLS) studies, and zeta potentials measurement were performed for particle size, charge and morphological characterization. Additionally. HA particles were chemically modified to induce desired functional groups on the particle surface and utilized for potential drug delivery vehicles. Trimethoprim (TMP) a bacteriostatic antibiotic drug were used as a model drug for the release studies in phosphate buffer solution (PBS) at pH 7.4 from bare HA, magnetic HA-composite and modified HA hydrogel particles. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.