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Review

Sol-Gel Silica Nanoparticles in Medicine: A Natural Choice. Design, Synthesis and Products

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Departamento de Engenharia Química, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal
2
CQE, Centro de Química Estrutural, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal
Molecules 2018, 23(8), 2021; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23082021
Received: 13 July 2018 / Revised: 1 August 2018 / Accepted: 3 August 2018 / Published: 13 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Materials Chemistry)
Silica is one of the most abundant minerals in the Earth’s crust, and over time it has been introduced first into human life and later into engineering. Silica is present in the food chain and in the human body. As a biomaterial, silica is widely used in dentistry, orthopedics, and dermatology. Recently amorphous sol-gel SiO2 nanoparticles (NPs) have appeared as nanocarriers in a wide range of medical applications, namely in drug/gene target delivery and imaging diagnosis, where they stand out for their high biocompatibility, hydrophilicity, enormous flexibility for surface modification with a high payload capacity, and prolonged blood circulation time. The sol-gel process is an extremely versatile bottom-up methodology used in the synthesis of silica NPs, offering a great variety of chemical possibilities, such as high homogeneity and purity, along with full scale pH processing. By introducing organic functional groups or surfactants during the sol-gel process, ORMOSIL NPs or mesoporous NPs are produced. Colloidal route, biomimetic synthesis, solution route and template synthesis (the main sol-gel methods to produce monosized silica nanoparticles) are compared and discussed. This short review goes over some of the emerging approaches in the field of non-porous sol-gel silica NPs aiming at medical applications, centered on the syntheses processes used. View Full-Text
Keywords: sol-gel; silica; nanoparticles; Stöber; LaMer; reverse emulsion; biogeochemical cycle sol-gel; silica; nanoparticles; Stöber; LaMer; reverse emulsion; biogeochemical cycle
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gonçalves, M.C. Sol-Gel Silica Nanoparticles in Medicine: A Natural Choice. Design, Synthesis and Products. Molecules 2018, 23, 2021. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23082021

AMA Style

Gonçalves MC. Sol-Gel Silica Nanoparticles in Medicine: A Natural Choice. Design, Synthesis and Products. Molecules. 2018; 23(8):2021. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23082021

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gonçalves, M. Clara. 2018. "Sol-Gel Silica Nanoparticles in Medicine: A Natural Choice. Design, Synthesis and Products" Molecules 23, no. 8: 2021. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23082021

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