Transferrin-decorated, MoS2-capped hollow mesoporous silica nanospheres as a self-guided chemo–photothermal nanoplatform for controlled drug release and thermotherapy†
To improve cancer therapeutic efficacy and avoid side effects on normal tissues, a targeted chemo–photothermal nanoplatform was designed based on transferrin-decorated and MoS2-capped hollow mesoporous silica nanospheres. MoS2 nanosheets acted as a gatekeeper to prevent the leakage of DOX from the drug delivery system as well as the photothermal agent (PTA) to improve the therapeutic effect and facilitate the NIR-triggered endosomal escape. In this work, MoS2 nanosheets were anchored on the surface of hollow mesoporous silica nanospheres (HMSNs) via the formation of disulfide bonds (–S–S), which could be easily cleaved in the presence of the intracellular GSH, leading to stimuli-responsive drug release from the hollow mesoporous silica nanocarriers. Moreover, to further improve the tumor specificity and cellular uptake of the anti-cancer drug, the nanocarrier surface was also modified with the targeting ligand transferrin via –S–S linkage. The results demonstrated that the transferrin-decorated, MoS2-capped HMSNs can be utilized as a targeting chemo–photothermal synergetic system with high therapeutic efficacy.