Mesoporous Silica and Organosilica Nanoparticles: Physical Chemistry, Biosafety, Delivery Strategies, and Biomedical Applications

Jonas G. Croissant, Yevhen Fatieiev, Abdulaziz Almalik, Niveen M. Khashab*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

432 Scopus citations


Predetermining the physico-chemical properties, biosafety, and stimuli-responsiveness of nanomaterials in biological environments is essential for safe and effective biomedical applications. At the forefront of biomedical research, mesoporous silica nanoparticles and mesoporous organosilica nanoparticles are increasingly investigated to predict their biological outcome by materials design. In this review, it is first chronicled that how the nanomaterial design of pure silica, partially hybridized organosilica, and fully hybridized organosilica (periodic mesoporous organosilicas) governs not only the physico-chemical properties but also the biosafety of the nanoparticles. The impact of the hybridization on the biocompatibility, protein corona, biodistribution, biodegradability, and clearance of the silica-based particles is described. Then, the influence of the surface engineering, the framework hybridization, as well as the morphology of the particles, on the ability to load and controllably deliver drugs under internal biological stimuli (e.g., pH, redox, enzymes) and external noninvasive stimuli (e.g., light, magnetic, ultrasound) are presented. To conclude, trends in the biomedical applications of silica and organosilica nanovectors are delineated, such as unconventional bioimaging techniques, large cargo delivery, combination therapy, gaseous molecule delivery, antimicrobial protection, and Alzheimer's disease therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1700831
JournalAdvanced healthcare materials
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 21 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • biocompatibility
  • biomedical applications
  • drug delivery
  • mesoporous silica nanoparticles
  • organosilica

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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