Applied Nanoscience

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 853–866 | Cite as

Synthesis of pH-sensitive poly(β-amino ester)-coated mesoporous silica nanoparticles for the controlled release of drugs

  • William A. Talavera-Pech
  • Adriana Esparza-Ruiz
  • Patricia Quintana-Owen
  • Alfredo R. Vilchis-Nestor
  • Jesus A. Barrón-Zambrano
  • Alejandro Ávila-Ortega
Original Article


This report describes the synthesis of a controlled drug delivery system that was obtained by coating mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) with poly(β-amino ester) (PbAE), which is a solid and stable material at physiological pH, but is dissolved at acidic pH values, such as those in tumor tissues (from 5.0 to 6.5). To synthesize the system, PbAE chains were grafted onto amino-functionalized MSNs through a reaction between the surface amino groups of MSNs and the ends of acrylate chains of a PbAE. The system was physicochemically characterized by dynamic light scattering (DLS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, X-ray photoelectron spectrometry, and X-ray diffraction analyses. In addition, the in vitro release of doxorubicin (DOX) and doxycycline (DXY) in acidic and physiological media was evaluated. It was observed that the PbAE modification did not affect the mesoporous structure of MSNs. When the amount of 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane was increased during functionalization, the amount of PbAE binding to MSNs increased as well. With respect to drug release, the sample with the highest amount of PbAE showed better control in the delivery of DXY and DOX in acidic media, because at pH 5.5, the release of both drugs was 40% higher than that at pH 7.4. These results reveal two aspects about the presence of PbAE in MSNs: PbAE does not affect the mesoporous structure of the nanoparticles, and PbAE is the main factor controlling the delivery of drugs in acidic media.


Mesoporous silica nanoparticles Poly(β-amino ester) pH-sensitive Drug delivery system Doxorubicin 



This project was supported by the program of competitive funds within the 2015 FIQ-UADY call. SAXRD and XPS measurements were performed at LANNBIO Cinvestav Mérida, under support from projects FOMIX-Yucatán 2008-108160 and CONACYT LAB-2009-01 No. 123913. MSc. D. Aguilar and Ing. W. Cauich are acknowledged for their technical help.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • William A. Talavera-Pech
    • 1
  • Adriana Esparza-Ruiz
    • 2
  • Patricia Quintana-Owen
    • 3
  • Alfredo R. Vilchis-Nestor
    • 4
  • Jesus A. Barrón-Zambrano
    • 2
  • Alejandro Ávila-Ortega
    • 2
  1. 1.Centro de Investigación en CorrosiónUniversidad Autónoma de CampecheSan Francisco de CampecheMéxico
  2. 2.Faculty of Chemical EngineeringUniversidad Autónoma de Yucatán (UADY)MéridaMéxico
  3. 3.Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados, Unidad MéridaMéridaMéxico
  4. 4.Centro Conjunto de Investigación en Química Sustentable, UAEM-UNAMTolucaMéxico

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