Near-infrared light triggered drug release from mesoporous silica nanoparticles
Stimuli triggered drug delivery systems enable controlled release of drugs at the optimal space and time, thus achieving optimal therapeutic effects. As one of the most important stimuli used in bioapplications, near-infrared (NIR) light possesses unique advantages such as deep tissue penetration with minimum auto-fluorescence & tissue scattering and high biosafety. Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) are one of the most studied nanocarriers; apart from having a high surface area and large pore volume for loading of drugs, they can be easily functionalized with inorganic nanomaterials and stimuli responsive polymers or organic switch molecules, creating possibilities for designing complex stimuli triggered drug delivery systems. Considering the high tissue penetration depth of NIR light and the unique mesoporous structure of MSNs, NIR responsive inorganic nanoparticle functionalized MSNs can be further combined with stimuli responsive materials to form smart “nano-devices” for controlled drug delivery toward tumors, and to date much progress has been made. In this article, recent advances in the design of NIR triggered mesoporous silica drug delivery systems are systematically summarized and some outstanding studies are highlighted. We will also discuss the shortcomings, challenges and opportunities in the field.
- This article is part of the themed collections: Recent Review Articles and Journal of Materials Chemistry B Emerging Investigators