Enhanced gene and siRNA delivery by polycation-modified mesoporous silica nanoparticles loaded with chloroquine

Pharm Res. 2010 Dec;27(12):2556-68. doi: 10.1007/s11095-010-0245-0. Epub 2010 Aug 21.


Purpose: To prepare mesoporous silica-based delivery systems capable of simultaneous delivery of drugs and nucleic acids.

Methods: The surface of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSN) was modified with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and poly(2-(dimethylamino)ethylmethacrylate) (PDMAEMA) or poly(2-(diethylamino)ethylmethacrylate) (PDEAEMA). The particles were then loaded with a lysosomotropic agent chloroquine (CQ) and complexed with plasmid DNA or siRNA. The ability of the synthesized particles to deliver combinations of CQ and nucleic acids was evaluated using luciferase plasmid DNA and siRNA targeting luciferase and GAPDH.

Results: The results show a slow partial MSN dissolution to form hollow silica nanoparticles in aqueous solution. The biological studies show that polycation-modified MSN are able to simultaneously deliver CQ with DNA and siRNA. The co-delivery of CQ and the nucleic acids leads to a significantly increased transfection and silencing activity of the complexes compared with MSN not loaded with CQ.

Conclusion: PEGylated MSN modified with polycations are promising delivery vectors for combination drug/nucleic acid therapies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Cations
  • Chloroquine / chemistry*
  • DNA / genetics
  • Gene Transfer Techniques*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Nanoparticles*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / administration & dosage*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics
  • Silicon Dioxide*
  • Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared
  • Surface Properties


  • Cations
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Silicon Dioxide
  • Chloroquine
  • DNA