Deformable hollow periodic mesoporous organosilica nanocapsules for significantly improved cellular uptake

Zhaogang Teng, Chunyan Wang, Yuxia Tang, Wei Li, Lei Bao, Xuehua Zhang, Xiaodan Su, Fan Zhang, Junjie Zhang, Shouju Wang, Dongyuan Zhao, Guangming Lu

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Mesoporous solids have been widely used in various biomedical areas such as drug delivery and tumor therapy. Although deformability has been recognized as a prime important characteristic influencing cellular uptake, the synthesis of deformable mesoporous solids is still a great challenge. Herein, deformable thioether-, benzene-, and ethane-bridged hollow periodic mesoporous organosilica (HPMO) nanocapsules have successfully been synthesized for the first time by a preferential etching approach. The prepared HPMO nanocapsules possess uniform diameters (240-310 nm), high surface areas (up to 878 m2·g-1), well-defined mesopores (2.6-3.2 nm), and large pore volumes (0.33-0.75 m3·g-1). Most importantly, the HPMO nanocapsules simultaneously have large hollow cavities (164-270 nm), thin shell thicknesses (20-38 nm), and abundant organic moiety in the shells, which endow a lower Young's modulus (EY) of 3.95 MPa than that of solid PMO nanoparticles (251 MPa). The HPMOs with low EY are intrinsically flexible and deformable in the solution, which has been well-characterized by liquid cell electron microscopy. More interestingly, it is found that the deformable HPMOs can easily enter into human breast cancer MCF-7 cells via a spherical-to-oval morphology change, resulting in a 26-fold enhancement in cellular uptake (43.1% cells internalized with nanocapsules versus 1.65% cells with solid counterparts). The deformable HPMO nanocapsules were further loaded with anticancer drug doxorubicin (DOX), which shows high killing effects for MCF-7 cells, demonstrating the promise for biomedical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1385-1393
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes

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