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Polymer-Grafted Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles as Ultrasound-Responsive Drug Carriers

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journal contribution
posted on 24.11.2015, 00:00 by Juan L. Paris, M. Victoria Cabañas, Miguel Manzano, María Vallet-Regí
A new ultrasound-responsive system based on mesoporous silica nanoparticles was developed for biomedical applications, grafting a copolymer on their surface that acts as gatekeeper of the pores. The nanoparticles can be loaded with a cargo at low temperature (4 °C), taking advantage of the open conformation that the polymer presents under these conditions. Then, at 37 °C the copolymer collapses closing the pore entrances and allowing the nanoparticles to carry the drugs at physiological temperature without premature release, which is of great importance when dealing with cytotoxic drugs in cancer treatments. Upon ultrasound irradiation, the sensitive polymer changes its hydrophobicity and, therefore, its conformation toward coil-like opening the gates and releasing the cargo. These hybrid nanoparticles have been shown to be noncytotoxic and can be internalized into LNCaP cells retaining their ultrasound-responsive capability in the cytoplasm of the cells. Moreover, doxorubicin-loaded hybrid MSNs were incubated with LNCaP cells to show their capacity to induce cell death only when the nanoparticles had been exposed to ultrasound. This work demonstrates that our hybrid-MSNs can be triggered by remote stimuli, which is of capital importance for future applications in drug delivery and cancer therapy.