Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) for biomedical applications
Well dispersed mesoporous nanoparticles were synthesized in ammonium solution containing dilute TEOS and a low surfactant concentration. By suitable modification with various chemicals, we have successfully demonstrated MSNs as an ideal platform for the following applications:
1. Cell marker
Through co-condensation process, dye (FITC) functionalized hexagonal crystal-like mesoporous silica nanoparticles were synthesized with high yield and the cell labeling capability was demonstrated. These nanoparticles are about 30-300 nm in size and appear to have no apparent cytotoxic effects. We had demonstrated their application as cell markers in both normal, cancer, and stem cells.
2. Magnetic Resonance Contrast agent
Functionalized MSNs (Gd-EDTA and Fe 2 O 3 ) were used as contrast agents to track cells. These nanoparticles showed high cellular uptake efficiency and can be used in tracking the distribution of stem cells.
3. Targeting and Therapeutic platforms
In the ongoing research projects, we try to incorporate various biologically important groups onto MSNs. For example, by modification with suitable antibodies or short chain peptides, MSNs might be used to target specific cell. Similarly, MSNs should be an ideal platform for drug- or enzyme-released systems. We will focus on the design and synthesis of multifunctional MSNs-based materials for the field of biomedicine.