Introduction: Biocompatible mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) are regarded as one of the most promising inorganic drug delivery systems (DDSs) to concurrently enhance the therapeutic efficiency and mitigate the side effects of anticancer drugs. Elaborately combining multicomponents with MSNs will endow them with specific functionalities for cancer therapy and diagnosis, such as targeted drug delivery, intelligent on-demand drug releasing, synergistic therapy, diagnostic imaging and so on.
Areas covered: This review discusses the state-of-the-art potential obstacles and further perspectives of the chemical design/synthesis, in vitro/in vivo pharmaceutical evaluations and potential clinical translations of multifunctional mesoporous silica-based nanomaterials for biotechnological and biomedical applications, especially against cancer. These topics cover the years from 2001 to 2013.
Expert opinion: Through the comprehensive evaluations of the biosafety and pharmaceutical efficiency, elaborately designed/fabricated mesoporous silica-based composite nanoparticles show great potentials in clinical applications for efficient diagnostic imaging and chemotherapy of cancer.
Keywords: cancer; drug delivery; mesoporous silica; nanomedicine; theranostic.