Nanocarriers sensitive to exogenous or endogenous stimuli emerged as an attractive alternative to target drug delivery, with inorganic silica mesoporous nanoparticles (MNs) playing a core role in the development of a new generation of non-toxic and tuneable nanocarriers. A sensitive nanovector (NANO1) comprising luminescent silicon quantum dots (SiQDs) and functionalized with MNs was synthesised and loaded with doxorubicin (DOX). NANO1 nanoparticles have a size of 74 ± 10 nm and DOX loading percentages of ca. 43%. As a control sample, a similar nanocarrier (NANO2), without SiQDs, was also synthesised and loaded with DOX. Release profile studies, in PBS, revealed the strong NANO1@DOX pH-dependant behaviour, with a pH 5.0 favouring the release of DOX to percentages of ca. 70%. Cytotoxicity assessments of both free and DOX-loaded nanocarriers were evaluated in human cell lines of colon, revealing both free drug and drug-loaded nanoparticles to be concentration-dependent.
- Colorectal cancer cells
- Drug delivery
- Mesoporous silica nanoparticles
- Silicon quantum dots