Luminescent silicon-based nanocarrier for drug delivery in colorectal cancer cells

Gonçalo A. Marcelo, David Montpeyo, Fernando Novio, Daniel Ruiz-Molina, Julia Lorenzo, Elisabete Oliveira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108393
JournalDyes and Pigments
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Colorectal cancer cells
  • Doxorubicin
  • Drug delivery
  • Luminescence
  • Mesoporous silica nanoparticles
  • Silicon quantum dots


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