Recent advancements in mesoporous silica nanoparticles towards therapeutic applications for cancer

Tingting Li, Sixiang Shi, Shreya Goel, Xue Shen, Xiaoxue Xie, Zhongyuan Chen, Hanxi Zhang, Shun Li, Xiang Qin, Hong Yang, Chunhui Wu, Yiyao Liu

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

161 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, drug delivery systems based on nanotechnology have received great attention in cancer therapeutics and diagnostics since they can not only improve the treatment efficacy but also reduce the side effects. Among them, mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) with large surface area, high pore volume, tunable pore size, abundant surface chemistry, and acceptable biocompatibility exhibit unique advantages and are considered as promising candidates for cancer diagnosis and therapy. In this review, we update the recent progress on MSN-based systems for cancer treatment purposes. We also discuss the drug loading mechanism of MSNs, stimuli-responsive drug release, and surface modification strategies for improving biocompatibility, and targeting functionalities. Statement of Significance: The development of MSN-based delivery systems that can be used in both diagnosis and treatment of cancer has attracted tremendous interest in the past decade. MSN-based delivery systems can improve therapeutic efficacy and reduce cytotoxicity to normal tissue. To further improve the in vivo properties of MSNs and potential translation to the clinics, it is critical to design MSNs with appropriate surface engineering and desirable cancer targeting. This review is intended to provide the readers a comprehensive background of the vast literature till date on silica-based drug delivery systems, and to inspire further innovations in silica nanomedicine in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Early online date20 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Biocompatibility
  • Combination therapy
  • Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs)
  • Stimuli-responsive release

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology


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