Biotemplated Hollow Mesoporous Silica Particles as Efficient Carriers for Drug Delivery

We designed three types of hollow-shaped porous silica materials via a three-step biotemplate-directed method: porous hollow silica nanorods, hollow dendritic fibrous nanostructured silica (DFNS), and ultraporous sponge-like DFNS. The first step was making a biotemplate, for which we used cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs), consisting of rod-shaped nanoparticles synthesized by conventional acid hydrolysis of cellulose fibers. In a second step, core–shell samples were prepared using CNC particles as hard template by two procedures.

In the first one, core–shell CNC–silica nanoparticles were synthesized by a polycondensation reaction, which exclusively took place at the surface of the CNCs. In the second procedure, a typical synthesis of DFNS was conducted in a bicontinuous microemulsion with the assistance of additives. DFNS was assembled on the surface of the CNCs, giving rise to core–shell CNC–DFNS structures. Finally, all of the silica-coated CNC composites were calcined, during which the CNC was removed from the core and hollow structures were formed. These materials are very lightweight and highly porous. All three structures were tested as nanocarriers for drug delivery and absorbents for dye removal applications.

Dye removal results showed that they can adsorb methylene blue efficiently, with ultraporous sponge-like DFNS showing the highest adsorption capacity, followed by hollow DFNS and hollow silica nanorods. Furthermore, breast cancer cells show a lower cell viability when exposed to doxorubicin-loaded hollow silica nanorods compared with control or doxorubicin cultures, suggesting that the loaded nanorod has a greater anticancer effect than free doxorubicin.

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Article information: Marzieh Heidari Nia, Roya Koshani, Jose G. Munguia-Lopez, Ali Reza Kiasat, Joseph M. Kinsella, and Theo G. M. van de Ven. ACS Applied Bio Materials Article ASAP. DOI: 10.1021/acsabm.0c01671

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