Biodegradable Magnetic Silica@Iron Oxide Nanovectors with Ultra-Large Mesopores for High Protein Loading, Magnetothermal Release, and Delivery

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The delivery of large cargos of diameter above 15 nm for biomedical applications has proved challenging since it requires biocompatible, stably-loaded, and biodegradable nanomaterials. In this study, we describe the design of biodegradable silica-iron oxide hybrid nanovectors with large mesopores for large protein delivery in cancer cells. The mesopores of the nanomaterials spanned from 20 to 60 nm in diameter and post-functionalization allowed the electrostatic immobilization of large proteins (e.g. mTFP-Ferritin, ˜534 kDa). Half of the content of the nanovectors was based with iron oxide nanophases which allowed the rapid biodegradation of the carrier in fetal bovine serum and a magnetic responsiveness. The nanovectors released large protein cargos in aqueous solution under acidic pH or magnetic stimuli. The delivery of large proteins was then autonomously achieved in cancer cells via the silica-iron oxide nanovectors, which is thus a promising for biomedical applications.Graphical abstract

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