In this review article we collect and analyse preparation, chemistry and properties of silica materials relevant for drug delivery applications. We review some of the most relevant milestones in the research of silica materials for implantable, oral, intravenous and dermal drug delivery systems. Preparation, chemistry and drug delivery characteristics of fumed silica nanoparticles (oral and dermal delivery route), silica xerogels (implant delivery), mesoporous silica materials (implant and oral delivery) and mesoporous silica spheres (intravenous delivery) with particular emphasis on their role in anticancer therapy and the design of stimuli responsive drug delivery systems are analysed. Recent progress in the research of silica materials for controlled drug delivery, namely, biocompatibility aspects, research on hybrid materials, anticancer and stimuli-responsive mesoporous silica materials are particularly emphasized.
Keywords: Silica, porous materials, diatom, dermal drug delivery, oral drug delivery, anticancer therapeutics, stimuli-responsive drug delivery, antibiotics, nanofibers, liposomes