Smart Drug Carriers from Silica

Smart Drug Carriers from Silica

Author: Xin Su

Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs), feature well-defined nano-sized pores, and have therefore been actively studied as drug delivery vehicles. However, their performance is greatly challenged by cargo leakage and premature release.

Ying-Wei Yang at Jilin University, Changchun, China, Hui Gao at Tianjin University of Technology, Tianjin, China, and colleagues have developed a layer-by-layer coating strategy based on non-covalent interactions for building pH-responsive MSN drug carriers. Loaded with anticancer drugs, the MSNs are coated with cucurbit[7]uril-bridged polymer layers, where the amine terminals of the polymer are encapsulated in cucurbit[7]uril. In low pH environments, such as cancer cells, the coating dissembles and triggers the release of drugs.

The researchers have demonstrated both in vitro and in vivo cancer cell-targeting drug delivery with high efficiency using this system. As an inherently flexible functionalization method for MSNs, its selective response can be easily tuned by changing coating units.

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