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Special Issue "Mesoporous Materials: From Synthesis to Applications"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Materials Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 December 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Juan Antonio Cecilia Website E-Mail
Departamento de Química Inorgánica, Cristalografía y Mineralogía, Spain
Interests: heterogeneous catalysis; biomass valorization; heterogeneous catalysis; porous materials; clay minerals; adsorption processes
Guest Editor
Dr. Ramón Moreno Tost Website E-Mail
Universidad de Malaga, Department of Inorganic Chemistry, Malaga, Spain
Phone: +34 952132021
Interests: hierarchical mesoporous material; solid/basic acid catalysts
Guest Editor
Dr. María Retuerto Millán Website E-Mail
Instituto de Catálisis y Petroleoquímica, Madrid, Spain
Interests: synthesis of materials; characterization of materials

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues:

Porous materials are structures with a high specific surface area, narrow pore size distribution and tuneable pore size distribution. These materials have emerged as interesting frameworks for the scientific community due their high potential in various areas, including adsorption, separation, sensing, and catalysis. The rational design of these porous structures has led to innovative materials with a wide range of structures, such as hexagonal, lamellar, rod-like or cubic in silicates, aluminosilicates, metal oxides or carbons. The obtained materials display a wide variety of funcionalities that currently makes this field one of the most developed in materials science. However, many advances in the field are recently diversifying this exciting area of work to promising applications in drug delivery, tumoral therapy, biomedicine, desing of tuneable catalysts, etc.

This Special Issue is aimed to provide a range of original contributions detailing the synthesis, design, characterization and applications in different areas of porous materials (e.g., catalysis, separation, sensing, adsorption, drug delivery, etc).

Dr. Juan A. Cecilia
Dr. Ramón Moreno Tost
Dr. María Retuerto Millán
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Mesoporous materials
  • Metal organic frameworks (MOFs)
  • Metal oxides
  • Zeolites
  • Carbon
  • Adsorption
  • Catalysis
  • Catalytic support
  • Biomolecules
  • Drug delivery

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Mesoporous Materials: From Synthesis to Applications
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(13), 3213; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20133213 - 30 Jun 2019
Abstract
Mesoporous silica are inorganic materials, which are formed by the condensation of sodium silicate or silicon alkoxides around an ordered surfactant used as template [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mesoporous Materials: From Synthesis to Applications)

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Hydrogel-Encapsulated Mesoporous Silica-Coated Gold Nanoshells for Smart Drug Delivery
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(14), 3422; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20143422 - 12 Jul 2019
Abstract
A “smart” [email protected] composite nanoparticle (NP) having dual-response mechanisms (i.e., temperature and light) was synthesized, and its efficacy in the loading and release of small molecules was explored. These [email protected] NPs are composed of an optically active gold nanoshell (GNS) core and a [...] Read more.
A “smart” [email protected] composite nanoparticle (NP) having dual-response mechanisms (i.e., temperature and light) was synthesized, and its efficacy in the loading and release of small molecules was explored. These [email protected] NPs are composed of an optically active gold nanoshell (GNS) core and a mesoporous (m-) silica layer (m-SiO2). The [email protected]m-SiO2 nanoparticles are further encapsulated within a thermo-responsive poly(N-isopropylacrylamide-co-acrylic acid) hydrogel (PNIPAM-co-AA). The multi-responsive composite NPs were designed to create thermally and optically modulated drug-delivery vehicles with a m-SiO2 layer providing additional non-collapsible space for drug storage. The influence of the m-SiO2 layer on the efficacy of loading and release of methylene blue, which serves as a model for a small-molecule therapeutic drug, was evaluated. The “smart” [email protected] composite NPs having a m-SiO2 layer demonstrated an improved capacity to load and release small molecules compared to the corresponding NPs with no m-SiO2 shell. Additionally, an efficient response by the composite NPs was successfully induced by the thermal energy generated from the gold nanoshell core upon exposure to near infrared (NIR) stimulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mesoporous Materials: From Synthesis to Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Polydopamine-Coated Mesoporous Silica Nanorods and Spheres for the Delivery of Hydrophilic and Hydrophobic Anticancer Drugs
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(14), 3408; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20143408 - 11 Jul 2019
Abstract
Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) have been widely studied as drug delivery systems in nanomedicine. Surface coating of MSNs have enabled them to perform efficiently in terms of bioavailability, biocompatibility, therapeutic efficacy and targeting capability. Recent studies have suggested the use of polydopamine (PDA) [...] Read more.
Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) have been widely studied as drug delivery systems in nanomedicine. Surface coating of MSNs have enabled them to perform efficiently in terms of bioavailability, biocompatibility, therapeutic efficacy and targeting capability. Recent studies have suggested the use of polydopamine (PDA) as a facilitative coating for MSNs that provides sustained and pH-responsive drug release, owing to the adhesive “molecular-glue” function of PDA. This further endows these hybrid [email protected] particles with the ability to carry large amounts of hydrophilic drugs. In this study, we expand the feasibility of this platform in terms of exploring its ability to also deliver hydrophobic drugs, as well as investigate the effect of particle shape on intracellular delivery of both a hydrophilic and hydrophobic anticancer drug. [email protected] loaded with doxorubicin (hydrophilic) and fingolimod (hydrophobic) was studied via a systematic in vitro approach (cellular internalization, intracellular drug distribution and cytotoxicity). To promote the cellular uptake of the [email protected] particles, they were further coated with a polyethylene imine (PEI)-polyethylene glycol (PEG) copolymer. Drug-loaded, copolymer-coated [email protected] showed effective cellular uptake, intracellular release and an amplified cytotoxic effect with both doxorubicin and fingolimod. Additionally, rods exhibited delayed intracellular drug release and superior intracellular uptake compared to spheres. Hence, the study provides an example of how the choice and design of drug delivery systems can be tuned by the need for performance, and confirms the PDA coating of MSNs as a useful drug delivery platform beyond hydrophilic drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mesoporous Materials: From Synthesis to Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Microwave-Synthesized Platinum-Embedded Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles as Dual-Modality Contrast Agents: Computed Tomography and Optical Imaging
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(7), 1560; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20071560 - 28 Mar 2019
Abstract
Nanoparticle-based imaging contrast agents have drawn tremendous attention especially in multi-modality imaging. In this study, we developed mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) for use as dual-modality contrast agents for computed tomography (CT) and near-infrared (NIR) optical imaging (OI). A microwave synthesis for preparing naked [...] Read more.
Nanoparticle-based imaging contrast agents have drawn tremendous attention especially in multi-modality imaging. In this study, we developed mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) for use as dual-modality contrast agents for computed tomography (CT) and near-infrared (NIR) optical imaging (OI). A microwave synthesis for preparing naked platinum nanoparticles (nPtNPs) on MSNs (MSNs-Pt) was developed and characterized with physicochemical analysis and imaging systems. The high density of nPtNPs on the surface of the MSNs could greatly enhance the CT contrast. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) revealed the MSNs-Pt compositions to be ~14% Pt by weight and TEM revealed an average particle diameter of ~50 nm and covered with ~3 nm diameter nPtNPs. To enhance the OI contrast, the NIR fluorescent dye Dy800 was conjugated to the MSNs-Pt nanochannels. The fluorescence spectra of MSNs-Pt-Dy800 were very similar to unconjugated Dy800. The CT imaging demonstrated that even modest degrees of Pt labeling could result in substantial X-ray attenuation. In vivo imaging of breast tumor-bearing mice treated with PEGylated MSNs-Pt-Dy800 (PEG-MSNs-Pt-Dy800) showed significantly improved contrasts in both fluorescence and CT imaging and the signal intensity within the tumor retained for 24 h post-injection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mesoporous Materials: From Synthesis to Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Sulfonate-Functionalized Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles as Carriers for Controlled Herbicide Diquat Dibromide Release through Electrostatic Interaction
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(6), 1330; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20061330 - 16 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Environmental stimuli-responsive pesticide release is desirable for enhanced efficiency and reduced side effects. In most cases, the loading and release of pesticides mainly depends on hydrophobic interactions and hydrogen bonding. Electrostatic interaction is less investigated as a weapon for achieving high loading content [...] Read more.
Environmental stimuli-responsive pesticide release is desirable for enhanced efficiency and reduced side effects. In most cases, the loading and release of pesticides mainly depends on hydrophobic interactions and hydrogen bonding. Electrostatic interaction is less investigated as a weapon for achieving high loading content and controlled pesticide release. In this work, negative-charge decorated mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) were facilely fabricated by introducing sulfonate groups onto MSNs through a post-grafting method. Sulfonate-functionalized MSNs (MSN-SO3) were synthesized by conversion of epoxy group into sulfonate group using a bisulfite ion as a ring opening reagent. Diquat dibromide (DQ), one of the globally used quaternary ammonium herbicides, was efficiently loaded into these negatively charged MSN-SO3 nanoparticles. The loading content was increased to 12.73% compared to those using bare MSNs as carriers (5.31%). The release of DQ from [email protected]3 nanoparticles was pH and ionic strength responsive, which was chiefly governed by the electrostatic interactions. Moreover, [email protected]3 nanoparticles exhibited good herbicidal activity for the control of Datura stramonium L., and the bioactivity was affected by the ionic strength of the release medium. The strategy of cargo loading and release dependent on the electrostatic interactions could be generally used for charge-carrying pesticides using carriers possessing opposite charges to mitigate the potential negative impacts on the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mesoporous Materials: From Synthesis to Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Structure-modifying Agents in the Synthesis of Zr-doped SBA-15 Silica and Their Use as Catalysts in the Furfural Hydrogenation to Obtain High Value-added Products through the Meerwein-Ponndorf-Verley Reduction
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(4), 828; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20040828 - 14 Feb 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Zr-doped mesoporous silicas with different textural parameters have been synthesized in the presence of structure-modifying agents, and then characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), N2 adsorption-desorption at −196 °C, NH3 thermoprogrammed desorption (NH3–TPD), CO2 thermoprogrammed [...] Read more.
Zr-doped mesoporous silicas with different textural parameters have been synthesized in the presence of structure-modifying agents, and then characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), N2 adsorption-desorption at −196 °C, NH3 thermoprogrammed desorption (NH3–TPD), CO2 thermoprogrammed desorption (CO2–TPD), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). These porous materials were evaluated in the furfural hydrogenation through the Meerwein-Ponndorf-Verley (MPV) reaction. The catalytic results indicate that the catalyst synthesized under hydrothermal conditions and adding a pore expander agent is more active and selective to furfuryl alcohol. However, the Zr-doped porous silica catalysts that were synthesized at room temperature, which possess narrow pore sizes, tend to form i-propyl furfuryl and difurfuryl ethers, coming from etherification between furfuryl alcohol (FOL) and isopropanol molecules (used as H-donor) by a SN2 mechanism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mesoporous Materials: From Synthesis to Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Molecular Simulation of Naphthalene, Phenanthrene, and Pyrene Adsorption on MCM-41
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 665; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030665 - 03 Feb 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The adsorption of three typical polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), naphthalene, phenanthrene, and pyrene with different ring numbers, on a common mesoporous material (MCM-41) was simulated based on a well-validated model. The adsorption equilibriums (isotherms), states (angle distributions and density profiles), and interactions (radial [...] Read more.
The adsorption of three typical polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), naphthalene, phenanthrene, and pyrene with different ring numbers, on a common mesoporous material (MCM-41) was simulated based on a well-validated model. The adsorption equilibriums (isotherms), states (angle distributions and density profiles), and interactions (radial distribution functions) of three PAHs within the mesopores were studied in detail. The results show that the simulated isotherms agreed with previous experimental results. Each of the PAHs with flat molecules showed an adsorption configuration that was parallel to the surface of the pore, in the following order according to the degree of arrangement: pyrene (Pyr) > phenanthrene (Phe) > naphthalene (Nap). In terms of the interaction forces, there were no hydrogen bonds or other strong polar forces between the PAHs and MCM-41, and the O–H bond on the adsorbent surface had a unique angle in relation to the PAH molecular plane. The polarities of different H atoms on the PAHs were roughly the same, while those of the C atoms on the PAHs decreased from the molecular centers to the edges. The increasing area of the π-electron plane on the PAHs with the increasing ring number could lead to stronger adsorption interactions, and thus a shorter distance between the adsorbate and the adsorbent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mesoporous Materials: From Synthesis to Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Steam Reforming of Model Bio-Oil Aqueous Fraction Using Ni-(Cu, Co, Cr)/SBA-15 Catalysts
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 512; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030512 - 25 Jan 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Hydrogen obtained from biomass derivatives is considered a promising alternative to fossil fuels. The aim of this work is to test the viability of Ni-M/SBA-15 (M: Co, Cu, Cr) catalysts for the hydrogen production from bio-oil aqueous fraction reforming. Tests were performed in [...] Read more.
Hydrogen obtained from biomass derivatives is considered a promising alternative to fossil fuels. The aim of this work is to test the viability of Ni-M/SBA-15 (M: Co, Cu, Cr) catalysts for the hydrogen production from bio-oil aqueous fraction reforming. Tests were performed in a fixed-bed reactor at 600 °C and atmospheric pressure. Firstly, the steam reforming (SR) of acetic acid, hydroxyacetone, furfural and phenol, as representative constituents of the bio-oil aqueous fraction, was carried out. Lower reactivity with increasing carbon number and decreasing steam-to-carbon ratio was observed. Coking rate during SR is a consequence of carbon number and aromaticity of the reactant, as well as the steam-to-carbon ratio. However, deactivation also depends on the graphitization degree of carbon filaments, higher in the case of coke formed from phenol. Then, the performance of the Ni-M/SBA-15 catalysts was studied in the reforming of a bio-oil aqueous fraction surrogate containing the four model compounds. Ni-Co/SBA-15 and Ni-Cr/SBA-15 samples were the most active because Co also catalyze the steam reforming reactions and Cr promotes the formation of very small Ni crystallites accounting for high conversion and the low coke deposition (~8 times lower than Ni/SBA-15) in the form of poorly condensed carbon filaments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mesoporous Materials: From Synthesis to Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Electrochemical Detection of Dopamine at a Gold Electrode Modified with a Polypyrrole–Mesoporous Silica Molecular Sieves (MCM-48) Film
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(1), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20010111 - 29 Dec 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
A gold electrode modified with a polypyrrole–mesoporous silica molecular sieves (polypyrrole—MCM-48) nanostructure film was used for the electrochemical determination of small concentrations of dopamine (DA) by cyclic voltammetry and square-wave voltammetry techniques. This electrode showed good electrocatalytic activity for the oxidation of dopamine. [...] Read more.
A gold electrode modified with a polypyrrole–mesoporous silica molecular sieves (polypyrrole—MCM-48) nanostructure film was used for the electrochemical determination of small concentrations of dopamine (DA) by cyclic voltammetry and square-wave voltammetry techniques. This electrode showed good electrocatalytic activity for the oxidation of dopamine. The oxidation potential of dopamine was decreased significantly compared with that obtained at the bare gold electrode. The observed linear range for the determination of the dopamine concentration, without interferents through cyclic voltammetry measurements, was from 10 μM to 1.2 mM (R2 = 0.9989) for the gold electrode modified with the polypyrrole—MCM-48 nanostructure, with a detection limit of 2.5 μM. In the case of square-wave voltammetry, the linear range was 2–250 μM, with a correlation coefficient of 0.9996, and the detection limit was estimated to be 0.7 μM. The effects of interferents, such as ascorbic acid (AA) and uric acid (UA), on the electrochemical detection of dopamine were also examined. The modified electrode can successfully separate the oxidation potentials for ascorbic acid and dopamine, shifting the oxidation peak potential of ascorbic acid to a more positive potential, and significantly decreasing the peak current. The presence of ascorbic acid increased the sensitivity of dopamine determination at the modified electrode, and the detection limit was estimated to be 0.5 μM with 0.1 mM ascorbic acid to imitate physiological solutions. Additionally, studies showed that the presence of uric acid does not affect the electrochemical detection of dopamine. The modified electrode can be successfully applied for the quantitative analysis of dopamine both with and without interferents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mesoporous Materials: From Synthesis to Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Construction of a Glutathione-Responsive and Silica-Based Nanocomposite for Controlled Release of Chelator Dimercaptosuccinic Acid
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(12), 3790; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19123790 - 28 Nov 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) is an oral heavy metal chelator. Although DMSA is the most acceptable chelator in the urinary excretion of toxic elements from children and adults, its defects in plasma binding and the membrane permeability limit its interaction with intracellular elements and [...] Read more.
Dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) is an oral heavy metal chelator. Although DMSA is the most acceptable chelator in the urinary excretion of toxic elements from children and adults, its defects in plasma binding and the membrane permeability limit its interaction with intracellular elements and affect its efficacy in chelation therapy. Herein, a novel nanocomposite composed of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs), disulfide bond, and DMSA was synthesized and characterized with a scanning/transmission electron microscope, IR and Raman spectra, and TGA analysis. The in vitro interactions with glutathione (GSH) and cellular uptake assays showed that it was able to be stable in extracellular environments such as in blood, be internalized by cells, and release DMSA inside via GSH-triggered disulfide cleavage reaction. The in vitro adsorption assays showed that MSNs-SH as its intracellular metabolite had strong adsorbability for models of Hg2+ or Pb2+. The hemolysis and cell viability assays showed that it was compatible with blood and cells even at a concentration of 1000 μg·mL−1. All above could not only enable it to be a GSH-responsive drug delivery system (DDS) for DMSA delivery but also to be a solution for its defects and efficacy. Thus, introduction of intelligent DDS might open a new avenue for DMSA-based chelation therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mesoporous Materials: From Synthesis to Applications)
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Open AccessArticle
Uptake and Distribution of Fenoxanil-Loaded Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles in Rice Plants
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(10), 2854; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19102854 - 20 Sep 2018
Abstract
Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) can be used as carriers to deliver pesticides into plants, which is considered to be one method of improving the efficacy of pesticide usage in agricultural production. In the present work, MSNs with an average diameter of 258.1 nm [...] Read more.
Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) can be used as carriers to deliver pesticides into plants, which is considered to be one method of improving the efficacy of pesticide usage in agricultural production. In the present work, MSNs with an average diameter of 258.1 nm were synthesized and loaded with Fenoxanil. The structure of the nanocarriers was observed by scanning electron microscopy. The loading content of Fenoxanil-loaded MSNs was investigated. After rice plants in a hydroponic system were treated with loaded MSNs, the concentrations of Fenoxanil in different samples were determined using high-performance liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. The results suggested that rice plants can absorb MSNs from water through their roots, and the dosage has almost no effect on the distribution of Fenoxanil in rice plants. The application of pesticide-loaded nanoparticles in a hydroponic system poses a low risk of Fenoxanil accumulation in rice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mesoporous Materials: From Synthesis to Applications)
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