Stable superparamagnetic magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles were synthesized via co-precipitation in the presence of poly(methacrylic acid) (PMAA) in aqueous solution. The polymer coated Fe3O4 nanoparticles were characterized using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction, thermal analysis, and vibrating sample magnetometry (VSM) techniques. These measurements reveal the presence of magnetite nanoparticles with a size of approximately 8 nm inside the PMAA matrix. The magnetization value of these superparamagnetic nanoparticles at room temperarure and 7 T was measured as about 40 emu/g. PMAA-coated Fe3O4 nanoparticles were further assembled with Ni-chelate through a reaction between a primary amine-bearing NTA (nitrilotriacetic acid) ligand and carboxy-functional groups of PMAA. NTA-PMAA-coated magnetite nanoparticles were then loaded with nickel ions and characterized using FTIR. The average amount of binded Ni on the surface of the NTA-modified PMAA coated Fe3O4 was calculated as 1.65 +/- 0.3 x 10(-6) mol nickel(II) ions per g of the magnetic particles from the inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) measurements.