Facile large-scale preparation of mesoporous silica microspheres with the assistance of sucrose and their drug loading and releasing properties

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Graphical abstractMesoporous silica microspheres (MSMs) with a pore-size larger than 10 nm and a large pore-volume have attracted considerable attention for their application in delivering poorly water-soluble drugs. Here we developed a simple method for large-scale synthesis of MSMs using sodium silicate as silica precursor. The novelty of this approach lies in the use of sucrose solution to achieve large size and volume of nanopores. The highest values of pore size and pore volume are 13.2 nm and 1.97 cm3/g, respectively. Importantly, the method is reliable and easily upscalable. The blank and drug-loaded MSMs were characterized by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD). Ibuprofen and resveratrol were successfully loaded into the nanopores of MSMs in amorphous and nanocrystalline form and showed high drug-loadings and enhanced dissolution rates. This kind of MSMs appears to be a promising candidate as a new oral drug delivery vehicle providing a rapid drug release.

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