Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 54, Issue 4, pp 3319–3330 | Cite as

Fabricated porous silk fibroin particles for pH-responsive drug delivery and targeting of tumor cells

  • Ning Sun
  • Rong Lei
  • Jianghui Xu
  • Subhas C. Kundu
  • Yurong CaiEmail author
  • Juming Yao
  • Qingqing Ni
Materials for life sciences


To improve the roles of tumor drug, porous silk fibroin particles have been designed as drug carriers. Doxorubicin (DOX) is encapsulated during the fabrication process of the silk fibroin particles to form DOX loaded silk fibroin particles (SFPs-DOX). Folic acid (FA) is covalently grafted to the surface of the silk fibroin particles (FA-SFPs-DOX) as a target group to the folate receptor of tumor cells. The experimental results showed that under the conditions of low pH, high ionic strength and high enzyme concentration, the release of loaded drugs in particles has stimulus response under various conditions. The synthesized silk fibroin particles have good biocompatibility. The specific binding of fibroin particles to folate receptors provides the particles to with target functions to the tumor cells. The job develops potential application of silk fibroin particles as smart drug carriers for the targeted therapy of tumor.



The work is financially supported by the Program for National Natural Science Foundation of China (51372226), Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (LY16E020013) and Zhejiang Top Priority Discipline of Textile Science and Engineering (2015KF23). SCK presently holds an ERA Chair Full Professor position at I3Bs—Research Institute on Biomaterials, Biodegradables and Biomimetics, University of Minho, Portugal, supported by the European Union Framework Programme for Research and Innovation HORIZON 2020 under Grant Agreement No. 668983—FoReCaST.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interest.

Supplementary material

10853_2018_3022_MOESM1_ESM.docx (173 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 173 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Key Laboratory of Advanced Textile Materials and Manufacturing Technology of Ministry of Education, National Engineering Lab for Textile Fiber Materials and Processing Technology, College of Materials and TextilesZhejiang Sci-Tech UniversityHangzhouChina
  2. 2.3Bs Research Group, I3Bs – Research Institute on Biomaterials, Biodegradables and BiomimeticsUniversity of MinhoGuimaraesPortugal
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical Engineering and RoboticsShinshu UniversityUedaJapan

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