Functional hybrid polymeric materials for medical applications
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Multifunctional hybrid materials based on mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) are selected as an appealing nanoplatform for drug delivery applications, because of their thermal stability, rigid framework that prevents premature degradation and easy functionalization with stimuli-responsive gate-keeper units, reducing side effects of conventional systems and controlling the release. This post-grafting strategy allowed introducing gate functionalities onto the external surface (Fig. 1) which allows a control of payload release upon application of an external stimulus, avoiding the undesirable premature release. Hence, we designed different hybrid molecular gate-like nanomaterials containing pH, temperature or light-sensitive organic functionalities to control the release of chemotherapeutics through a selective ?close-opening gate mechanism? under pathological conditions, typical of cancer cells.