Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Biodegradable nanoparticles

Nanoparticles are increasingly being used in the biomedical field. Rendering them biodegradable should help them clear from the organism after they complete their function.
Biodegradable nanoparticles
Mesoporous silica nanoparticles exhibit great potential as theranostic agents. However, their clinical translation is impeded by the lack of controlled and complete biodegradability. Therefore, the design of nanoparticle-based tools should involve self-degradation into products that can be cleared by the kidneys.

The scope of the EU-funded POP SILICA (Towards biodegradable nanoparticles: Hybrid organic mesoporous silica) project was to address this issue and develop novel nanoparticles that can undergo controlled degradation. For this purpose, they introduced redox-responsive disulphide (S-S) bridges (ss-NPs) that would release nanoparticles in the presence of reducing agents.

These bioresponsive hybrid nanoparticles were tested in glioma cancer cells, where they were taken up, delivered drugs more efficiently and were more rapidly excreted. Nanoparticles loaded with the anticancer drug temozolomide induced higher cytotoxicity and could also be functionalised on the surface with biologically relevant ligands such as integrin-targeting peptides or antibodies.

In vivo administration of these nanoparticles unveiled their biocompatibility alongside their capacity to deliver the anticancer drug doxorubicin in cancer cells. In addition, they exhibited great drug release kinetics, paving the way towards employment of such silica-based vectors in theranostic applications.

Overall, the promising results obtained with the ss-NPs provide a basis for their implementation in regular therapeutic applications. The next step will be to address the in vivo toxicity of the particles before they can be considered for clinical use.

Related information


Biodegradable nanoparticles, nanoparticles, mesoporous silica, theranostic, anticancer
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