Feb 29, 2012
Large surface hole in mesoporous silica capsules expands cargo options
Scientists from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS) supported by Gyeonggi Regional Research Center (GRRC) have developed a simple method to prepare hollow mesoporous silica capsules (HMSCs). The structures are potential candidates for transporting different types of drugs, proteins and siRNA, and could be particularly suited to larger cargo, which can be difficult to deliver using more conventional geometries.
As the researchers discovered, the HMSC particles often have a large surface hole or a crack with dimensions in the range 25–50 nm. The combination of a hollow cavity and a large surface hole made it possible for the team to load and release large proteins – for example, glutathione S-transferase (GST, 52 kDa as a form of dimer), bovine serum albumin (BSA, 66 kDa), yeast alcohol dehydrogenase (yeast ADH, 150 kDa) and immunoglobulin G (IgG, 150 kDa).
According to analysis by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), the efficiencies of protein delivery using HMSC were about 3–22-fold higher than for mesoporous silica nanospheres.
The group's result may allow the cellular behaviour of various proteins to be studied with the molecules intact, because the delivery process does not require any modification to the proteins such as immobilization on the carrier surface. In addition, it seems that very large proteins can be transported without any difficulties.
Full details can be found in the journal Nanotechnology.
About the author
The collaboration includes researchers from the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS), Yongin, Korea. Both teams belong to the Protein Research Center for Bio-Industry supported by Gyeonggi Province. Ji-Sun Lim and Yong-Kyung Hwang are graduate students in chemistry. They prepared and characterized HMSC materials. Kiwon Lee, Jong-Nam Choi and Mi-Yeon Yun are graduate students in bioscience and biotechnology, and they performed the cellular delivery experiments. Prof. Seong Huh is a professor in chemistry and his research is focused on the preparation, characterization and application of nanomaterials. Prof. Hyockman Kwon is a professor in bioscience and biotechnology and his research explores the role of proteins in the formation of higher-order chromatin structure.