Engineering of a physiologically compatible, stable and targetable SPIONs-CA-FA formulation was reported. Initially fabricated superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) were coated with citric acid (CA) to hamper agglomeration as well as to ameliorate biocompatibility. Folic acid (FA) as a targeting agent was then conjugated to the citric acid coated SPIONs (SPIONs-CA) for targeting the specific receptors expressed on the FAR+ cancer cells. Physiochemical characterizations were then performed to assure required properties like stability, size, phase purity, surface morphology, chemical integrity and magnetic properties. In vitro evaluations (MTT assay) were performed on HeLa, HSF 1184, MDA-MB-468 and MDA-MB-231cell lines to ensure the biocompatibility of SPIONs-CA-FA. There were no morphological changes and lysis in contact with erythrocytes recorded for SPIONs-CA-FA and SPIONs-CA. High level of SPIONs-CA-FA binding to FAR+ cell lines was assured via qualitative and quantitative in vitro binding studies. Hence, SPIONs-CA-FA was introduced as a promising tool for biomedical applications like magnetic hyperthermia and drug delivery. The in vitro findings presented in this study need to be compared with those of in vivo studies.