Bovine serum albumin-based and dual-responsive targeted hollow mesoporous silica nanoparticles for breast cancer therapy

Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces. 2023 Apr:224:113201. doi: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2023.113201. Epub 2023 Feb 11.


Combination therapy is an effective way to alleviate the shortcoming of monotherapy and enhances therapeutic efficacy. Herein, a distinctive hollow mesoporous silica nanoparticle (HMSNs) encapsulated with folic acid-modified bovine serum albumin (BSA-FA), denoted as HBF, was engineered for tumor targeting and dual-responsive release of loaded-therapeutic agents MD (methylene blue (MB) and doxorubicin (DOX)). The BSA molecule as a ''gatekeeper'' prevents premature drug leakage and actively unloads the cargos through BSA detachment in response to intracellular glutathione (GSH). Folic acid (FA) promotes the specific intracellular delivery of the drug to folate receptor (FR)-expressing cancer cells to improve the efficacy of chemo-photodynamic therapy (PDT). In vitro drug release profiles showed that the drug carrier could achieve pH/redox-responsive drug release from MD@HBF owing to the cleavage of the imine bonds between HMSNs-CHO and BSA-FA and BSA intramolecular disulfide bond. Additionally, a series of biological evaluations, such as cell uptake experiments, toxicity experiments, and in vivo therapeutic assays indicated that MD@HBF possesses the features of accurately targeting FR-expressing 4T1 cells to induce cells apoptosis in vitro, exhibits outstanding tumor cell synergistic killing efficiency of chemo-photodynamic therapy (combination index CI = 0.325), and inhibits tumors growth. These results demonstrated that the strategy of combining HMSNs with stimuli-responsive biodegradable protein molecules could provide a new potential direction toward the ''on-demand'' drug release for precision chemo-photodynamic therapy in cancer treatment.

Keywords: Bovine serum albumin; Chemo-photodynamic therapy; Hollow mesoporous silica nanoparticles; Tumor targeting; pH/redox dual-responsive.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Doxorubicin / chemistry
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods
  • Drug Liberation
  • Female
  • Folic Acid
  • Humans
  • Nanoparticles* / chemistry
  • Porosity
  • Serum Albumin, Bovine / chemistry
  • Silicon Dioxide / chemistry


  • Silicon Dioxide
  • Serum Albumin, Bovine
  • Doxorubicin
  • Folic Acid