Silicon particles as trojan horses for potential cancer therapy

Autores UPV
Revista Journal of Nanobiotechnology


Background Porous silicon particles (PSiPs) have been used extensively as drug delivery systems, loaded with chemical species for disease treatment. It is well known from silicon producers that silicon is characterized by a low reduction potential, which in the case of PSiPs promotes explosive oxidation reactions with energy yields exceeding that of trinitrotoluene (TNT). The functionalization of the silica layer with sugars prevents its solubilization, while further functionalization with an appropriate antibody enables increased bioaccumulation inside selected cells. Results We present here an immunotherapy approach for potential cancer treatment. Our platform comprises the use of engineered silicon particles conjugated with a selective antibody. The conceptual advantage of our system is that after reaction, the particles are degraded into soluble and excretable biocomponents. Conclusions In our study, we demonstrate in particular, specific targeting and destruction of cancer cells in vitro. The fact that the LD50 value of PSiPs-HER-2 for tumor cells was 15-fold lower than the LD50 value for control cells demonstrates very high in vitro specificity. This is the first important step on a long road towards the design and development of novel chemotherapeutic agents against cancer in general, and breast cancer in particular.