Recent advances in multifunctional silica-based hybrid nanocarriers for bioimaging and cancer therapy
In recent years, there has been a considerable research focus on integrating cancer cell imaging and therapeutic functions into single nanoscale platforms for better treatment of cancer. This task could often be achieved by incorporating multiple components into a hybrid nanosystem. In this minireview, we highlight different types of silica-based hybrid nanosystems and their recent applications as integrated multifunctional platforms for cancer imaging and treatment. The discussions are divided into several sections focusing on various types of materials employed to integrate with silica, which include silica–metallic nanoparticle based hybrid nanocarriers, silica–gold nanoparticle based hybrid nanocarriers, silica-quantum dot based hybrid nanocarriers, silica-upconversion nanoparticle based hybrid nanocarriers, silica–carbon based hybrid nanocarriers, and organosilica nanocarriers. Therapeutic agents loaded in such hybrids include chemodrugs, proteins, DNA/RNA and photosensitizers. For targeted delivery into tumor sites, targeting ligands such as antibodies, peptides, aptamers, and other small molecules are grafted on the surface of the nanocarriers. At the end of the review, a brief summary and research outlook are presented. This minireview aims to provide a quick update of recent research achievements in the field.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Nanoscale approaches for cancer diagnosis and treatment