The application of nanotechnology to biomedical research is expected to have a major impact leading to the development of new types of diagnostic and therapeutic tools. One focus in nanobiotechnology is to develop safe and efficient drug/gene delivery vehicles. Research into the rational delivery and targeting of pharmaceutical, therapeutic and diagnostic agents is at the forefront of projects in nanomedicine. Silica, as a major and natural component of sand and glass, is a versatile material due to the variety of available chemical and physical modifications that are available, and recently have been widely applied in nanobiotechnology as drug/gene carriers or fluorescent nano-probes. The goal of this brief review is to illustrate selected examples of various functionalized silica nanoparticles as drug/gene delivery systems that have been applied to the arenas of human disease therapy or detection (molecular and cellular imaging).
Keywords: Silica, nanoparticles, drug/gene delivery, nano-probes, targeting, nanotechnology, nanobiotechnology, fluorescein isothiocyanate, sodium cyanide, tetraethoxysilane, thiol-organosilica, electrostatic interaction, plasmid DNA, stereotaxic injections, bromodeoxyuridine, photodynamic drugs, sol-gel, mesoporous channels, proliferation, apoptosis, cytoskeleton, liposomes, perfluorocarbon, luminescent, fluorescent dye, immunosorbent assay, immu-nocytochemistry, immunohistochemistry, DNA microarray, superparamagnetic iron ox-ide, mesenchymal stem cells, polyethylene glycol, glutaraldehyde, Folic acid, adenocarcinoma, pituitary adenoma, antisense oligonucleotides, 2-devinyl-2-(1-hexyloxyethyl) pyropheo-phorbide, mesoporous silica nanoparticles, superparamagnetic iron oxide
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