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Intracellular pH-Triggered, Targeted Drug Delivery to Cancer Cells by Multifunctional Envelope-Type Mesoporous Silica Nanocontainers

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journal contribution
posted on 12.08.2015, 00:00 by Ke Yang, Huaiqing Luo, Ming Zeng, Yinyan Jiang, Jianming Li, Xinling Fu
In this work, a novel type of pH-sensitive multifunctional envelope-type mesoporous silica nanocontainers (SBDAPF) was constructed for targeted drug delivery to cancer cells. Poly­(N-succinimidyl acrylate) was coated on the mesoporous silica nanoparticles surface via an acid-labile acetal linker to obtain the SBA particles for pH-triggered drug release. A model drug doxorubicin (DOX)-loaded SBA system (SBDA) showed low premature drug release at neutral pH and effective stimuli-responsive release under the acidic conditions. To provide the colloidal stability and avoid nonspecific uptake of normal or healthy cells, the SBDA nanocontainers were modified with a poly­(ethylene glycol) (PEG) polymer to form a protection layer. Furthermore, folic acid was introduced as a targeting component and anchored on the PEG outer layer to achieve the cancer-targeting ability. In vitro study demonstrated that SBDAPF could selectively adhere to the surface of cancer cells through the specific binding with folate receptor and be internalized into cells, subsequently releasing the entrapped DOX with high efficiency in slightly acidic intracellular microenvironment to finally kill cancer cells. Such a versatile drug delivery system as SBDAPF should have a potential application in cancer therapy.