Functionalized large pore mesoporous silica nanoparticles for gene delivery featuring controlled release and co-delivery†
Novel mesoporous silica nanoparticles (LPMSNs) functionalised with degradable poly(2-dimethylaminoethyl acrylate) (PDMAEA) have been developed (PDMAEA–LPMSNs) as nano-carriers for gene delivery. The unique design of PDMAEA–LPMSNs has endowed this system with multiple functions derived from both the organic and inorganic moieties. The cationic polymer unit binds to genetic molecules and undergoes a self-catalyzed hydrolysis in water to form a non-toxic anionic polymer poly(acrylic acid), allowing controlled release of siRNA in the cells. The nanopores of the LPMSNs provide a reservoir for storage and release of chloroquine to facilitate endosomal escape. The PDMAEA–LPMSN composites were characterized by elemental analysis (EA), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), solid-state 13C magic-angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS-NMR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and nitrogen sorption techniques. Their siRNA delivery performance was tested in a KHOS cell line, showing promising potential for co-delivery of genes and drugs.