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Anisotropic and Amphiphilic Mesoporous Core–Shell Silica Microparticles Provide Chemically Selective Environments for Simultaneous Delivery of Curcumin and Quercetin

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posted on 2021-11-03, 17:34 authored by Akanksha Dohare, Swathi Sudhakar, Björn Brodbeck, Ashutosh Mukherjee, Marc Brecht, Andreas Kandelbauer, Erik Schäffer, Hermann A. Mayer
Porous silica materials are often used for drug delivery. However, systems for simultaneous delivery of multiple drugs are scarce. Here we show that anisotropic and amphiphilic dumbbell core–shell silica microparticles with chemically selective environments can entrap and release two drugs simultaneously. The dumbbells consist of a large dense lobe and a smaller hollow hemisphere. Electron microscopy images show that the shells of both parts have mesoporous channels. In a simple etching process, the properly adjusted stirring speed and the application of ammonium fluoride as etching agent determine the shape and the surface anisotropy of the particles. The surface of the dense lobe and the small hemisphere differ in their zeta potentials consistent with differences in dye and drug entrapment. Confocal Raman microscopy and spectroscopy show that the two polyphenols curcumin (Cur) and quercetin (QT) accumulate in different compartments of the particles. The overall drug entrapment efficiency of Cur plus QT is high for the amphiphilic particles but differs widely between Cur and QT compared to controls of core–shell silica microspheres and uniformly charged dumbbell microparticles. Furthermore, Cur and QT loaded microparticles show different cancer cell inhibitory activities. The highest activity is detected for the dual drug loaded amphiphilic microparticles in comparison to the controls. In the long term, amphiphilic particles may open up new strategies for drug delivery.

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