Mesoporous silicon particles as a multistage delivery system for imaging and therapeutic applications

Nat Nanotechnol. 2008 Mar;3(3):151-7. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2008.34. Epub 2008 Mar 2.


Many nanosized particulate systems are being developed as intravascular carriers to increase the levels of therapeutic agents delivered to targets, with the fewest side effects. The surface of these carriers is often functionalized with biological recognition molecules for specific, targeted delivery. However, there are a series of biological barriers in the body that prevent these carriers from localizing at their targets at sufficiently high therapeutic concentrations. Here we show a multistage delivery system that can carry, release over time and deliver two types of nanoparticles into primary endothelial cells. The multistage delivery system is based on biodegradable and biocompatible mesoporous silicon particles that have well-controlled shapes, sizes and pores. The use of this system is envisioned to open new avenues for avoiding biological barriers and delivering more than one therapeutic agent to the target at a time, in a time-controlled fashion.

Publication types

  • Letter
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cells, Cultured
  • Contrast Media*
  • Drug Carriers / chemistry*
  • Drug Carriers / pharmacokinetics*
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Nanoparticles / therapeutic use*
  • Porosity
  • Silicon / pharmacokinetics*


  • Contrast Media
  • Drug Carriers
  • Silicon