Continuing our research efforts in developing mesoporous silicon nanoparticle-based biomaterials for cancer therapy, we employed here porous silicon nanoparticles as a nanocarrier to deliver contrast agents to diseased cells. Nanoconfinement of small molecule Gd-chelates (L1-Gd) enhanced the T1 contrast dramatically compared to distinct Gd-chelate (L1-Gd) by virtue of its slow tumbling rate, increased number of bound water molecules, and their occupancy time. The newly synthesized Gd-chelate (L1-Gd) was covalently grafted on silicon nanostructures and conjugated to an antibody specific for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) via a hydrazone linkage. The salient feature of this nanosized contrast agent is the capability of EGFR targeted delivery to cancer cells. Mesoporous silicon nanoparticles were chosen as the nanocarrier because of their high porosity, high surface area, and excellent biodegradability. This type of nanosized contrast agent also performs well in high magnetic fields.
- porous silicon nanoparticles
- T contrast agents