Silica Nanoparticles

Silica (silicon dioxide) nanoparticles facilitate surface properties such as geometry and porosity to be utilized in therapeutics and diagnostic fields. Silica nanoparticles can deliver hydrophilic drugs to target tissues. However, extensive research is currently being conducted to utilize silica nanoparticles for diagnostic, therapeutic, and imaging purposes. Mesoporous silica nanoparticles have been evaluated as controlled drug delivery system and gene transfection carriers [17]. For in vitro targeting, therapy, and imaging, studies have been conducted with silica nanoparticles to deliver hydrophobic drugs [18—21]. Fig. 14.5 demonstrates silica nanoparticles encapsulated with combinations of organic doping dyes as barcoding tags. These nanoparticles have been utilized with multiple signaling as fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). This technology can mediate emissions of multiple colors based on the ratios of the encapsulated organic dyes when excited with a single wavelength. FRET helps in understanding a complex biological signaling system [22]. The US Food and Drug Administration approved the first clinical trial with multimodal silica nanoparticles (7 nm diameter). Such particles have a unique combination of biological, structural, and optical properties for tumor (melanoma) targeting [23].

Nanoparticle samples with different doping dye combinations under 300 nm ultraviolet illumination. Dye doping ratio (in order)

Figure 14.5 Nanoparticle samples with different doping dye combinations under 300 nm ultraviolet illumination. Dye doping ratio (in order): 1:0:0, 0:1:0, 1:0:1, 4:1.5:3, 0.5:0.5:0.5, 2:2:2, 0:1:1, 0.5:0.5:4.

 
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