In recent years, the biomedical research using variety of silica materials has shown an outstanding growth. The silica-based materials are playing a major role to harnessing dual or multiple modalities in therapeutics and diagnostics. The unique and favourable physico-chemical characteristics of mesoporous silica nanoparticles are increasingly attracting the researchers to utilise them into various fields of biomedical research. Apart from the mesoporous silica nanoparticles, a range of other silica-based materials have also been applied quite extensively in the biomedical research. This article presents a brief overview of three particular areas of biomedical applications where a broad range of silica-based materials have been covered: (1) variety of drug delivery including intracellular drug delivery systems using silica-based carriers; (2) applications of silica materials as bone grafts or implants for bone disease treatment and bone regeneration; and (3) development of silica-based contrast agents for magnetic resonance image enhancement. Biocompatibility, bio-toxicity, tissue responses, cellular uptakes, and, how the effects of size, shape, morphology, structural and textural properties of the silica materials impact on their utilities are discussed. Perspectives, insights and critical reflections into a range of aspects are illustrated.
- contrast agent
- magnetic resonance imaging