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WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol
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Drug delivery from structured porous inorganic materials

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Abstract Structured porous inorganic materials show high chemical and mechanical stability under an array of physiological conditions. Their hydrophilic character and porous structure can in principle be tailored to control the diffusion rate of an adsorbed or encapsulated drug, gene, or protein. This organized porosity has been used to achieve a sustained, controlled, or pulsed release in drug delivery applications. Their large surface areas together with their large pore volumes have been used to improve the solubility of poorly soluble drugs. Their low density allows them to float in the gastrointestinal tract and prolong the gastric retention of oral drugs. In addition, their easy surface functionalization allows their grafting with bioadhesive and targeting moieties, and their interior pore volume protects biological payloads from physiological degradation. Some of those porous inorganic materials can be synthesized or microfabricated to form deposits thus acting as drug reservoirs. Finally, diffusion‐controlling porous membranes or coatings of those materials can be tailored with specific pore sizes to control drug release in eluting devices. Current research is focused on designing on demand targeted drug delivery systems using those inorganic porous materials as reservoirs together with triggering systems on their pore entrances to be externally activated to release the encapsulated therapeutic moiety. All of the previous scenarios will be overviewed to demonstrate the numerous possibilities of structured porous inorganic materials in drug delivery applications. WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol 2012, 4:16–30. doi: 10.1002/wnan.132 This article is categorized under: Implantable Materials and Surgical Technologies > Nanomaterials and Implants

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(a) Microporous material (ZSM‐5 zeolite); (b) mesoporous material (MCM‐41); (c) macroporous material (reticulated carbon foam).

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(a) Hollow aluminosilicate‐based nanotubes; (b) hollow titania nanotubes; (c) hollow mesoporous silica nanoparticles; and (d) hollow mesoporous silica microparticles.

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(a) Types of silanols and siloxane bonds on the silica surface. (b) Pore mouth representation of mesoporous silicas. (c) Several silanization protocols to graft amino (using (3‐aminopropyl)trimethoxysilane), methyl (using trimethoxymethylsilane), and trimethylammonium (using 3‐(trimethoxysilyl)propyl‐N,N,N‐trimethylammonium chloride) groups on the silica surface.

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NIR‐enhanced drug release from mesoporous silica nanoparticles.

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SEM photographs describing a porous polymer showing a nonordered pore distribution. (a) Top view; (b and c) cross sections.

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Diagram describing the protocol followed for the synthesis of silica‐based mesoporous materials and their loading with a model drug.

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Schematic overview of some of the advantages described for porous materials in drug delivery applications.

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