Mechanized Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery -Part Two

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of supra molecules and molecular machinery into mSNPs:

time we will talk about the types of materials that could be incorporated into
mSNPs. These materials can be classified into:

  1. Metal Nanocrystals.
  2. Cargo molecules.
  3. Cellular uptake.


objective of incorporating these metal nanocrystals is to be used in imaging as
well as for delivery of biologically active molecules. Examples of these metals
are iron oxide, gold and silver nanocrystals. This incorporation provides our
mSNPs with additional functionalities. Those metal naocrystals incorporated by
mixing the silica source with an aqueous solution of the surfactant coated

hydrolysed silicate molecules, surfactant coated nanocrystals and free
surfactant molecules will interact electrostatically helping the promotion of
the base-catalysed silica condensation to form the mesostructure.


mSNPs can also be used for incorporation of cargo molecules such as fluorescent
molecules and various drug molecules.
Examples of drugs molecules could be incorporated into mSNPs:

  • *
    Hydrophobic drugs:
    Ibuprofen, erythromycin and camptothecin.
  • *
    Hydrophilic drugs:
    aspirin, captopril and alendronate.
  • *
    Anticancer: Paclitaxel
    and Doxorubicin.
  • *
    Proteins and
  • *
    MRI contrast agent,
    fluorescent cell tag.
  • *
    DNA plasmids.

disadvantage of SNP (its irregular bulk morphology) resulted in sustained
release of incorporated drug materials but not in controlled manner. The mSNPs
overcome the disadvantage of SNP by its regular shape and hence controlled
manner of drug release. In case of proteins, the silica frame work protects the
proteins from denaturation and hydrolysis2.


mSNPs were found to be taken by the cancer cells within 30 minutes without any
observed cytotoxicity. Their intracellular location determined by staining the
cells with acridine orange which is specifically stains the acidic organelles
such as lysosomes with red color while the rest of the cell organelles stained
in green. The green fluorescence of mSNPs overlaps with the red fluorescence of
acridine orange exhibitiong yellow fluorescence indicating that the mSNPs were
only taken by the acidic molecules of the cancer cells2.


  1. K. McNeil; M. Bakker. (2009). Mesoporous
    silica nanoparticles and their potential as
    a drug delivery system.
    University of
    Alabama Students' Seminar.
  2. Karla K. Coti', Matthew E. Belowich, Monty
    Liong, Michael W. Ambrogio,a Yuen A. Lau, Hussam
    A. Khatib, Jeffrey I. Zink, Niveen M. Khashab and J. Fraser Stoddart. (2009). Mechanised
    nanoparticles for drug delivery.
    Nanoscale. 1: 1 16-39.

About the Author

Ayman Waddad's picture
Author: Ayman Waddad

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