Silica Nanoparticle Development Service
The excellent biocompatibility and inherent safety of silica, combined with the potential for extensive exploration of silica-based nanosystems, promise promising results for future clinical applications in rare diseases. Our company focuses on the key properties, manufacturing methods, and surface modifications of silica nanoparticles (NPs) to design and develop efficient and safe silica-based gene delivery systems for rare disease gene therapy.
Silica-based vectors are attractive as gene transfer vehicles due to their high stability, safety, and ease of structural and surface modification. A variety of silica-based vectors for gene delivery have been reported, including silica nanotubes (SNT), silica sheets, and silica NPs (solid (non-porous) silica NPs and porous silica NPs). Among these, silica NPs have been extensively investigated by researchers as carriers with many useful and attractive properties.
Several reports have been published on the use of silica NPs in nucleic acid delivery. Typically, nucleic acid molecules are loaded into silica NPs through weak non-covalent interactions. The size of the pores and the degree of surface functionalization play a crucial role in the loading and nucleic acid release rate. The addition of different types of cationic macromolecules, including PEIs, dendrimers, and lipids, has been used to modify the surface of silica NPs for the adsorption and delivery of nucleic acids.
Fig. 1 Schematic diagram showing the preparation of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs). (Zhou Y, et al., 2018)
Silica NP-based Gene Delivery System Development Services
- Preparation of silica NPs
We usually synthesize mesoporous silica NPs and solid silica NPs using the sol-gel method, where the silica precursor is hydrolyzed and then condensed to form spherical particles.
- Characterization of silica NPs
We provide several characterization technologies, including nitrogen physisorption, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), dynamic light scattering (DLS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and Zeta potential to help customers characterize a variety of instrumental characteristics of solid and mesoporous silica NPs, including particle surface area, pore volume, pore size, hydrodynamic diameter, external morphology, and particle's charge.
- Optimization of the pores for DNA or RNAi loading
One of the barriers to MSN is optimizing the pores for DNA or RNAi loading. We offer our customers a variety of methods such as pore expansion with TMB, etching with ammonium hydroxide, additional silica precursors (BTES), and microemulsion templating to help them produce MSNs with large pores and variable particle sizes.
- Polymer-modified silica NPs
The ease of synthesis of polymers, their wide availability, and the possibility of controlling parameters such as the molecular weight of polymers offer the possibility of designing a wide range of polymer structures with various structures and properties to create custom polymers with the desired characteristics. Our researchers work to help customers use different cationic polymers such as polyethylenimine (PEI), chitosan derivatives, poly(2-(dimethylamino)ethyl methacrylate) (PDMAEMA) poly(L-lysine) (PLL), or poly(L-arginine) as coatings for silica NPs to produce a variety of different polymer-modified silica-based gene delivery formulations.
- Lipid-modified silica NPs
We help our customers prepare silica NPs with a lipid shell to develop hybrid nanosystems with synergistic combinatorial properties. In addition, we modify the surface of lipid-encapsulated silica NPs by simultaneous or post-insertion of lipid conjugates to enable the addition of targeting ligands, PEGylation, or other functional moieties. Our lipid-encapsulated MSNs have the potential to deliver therapeutic nucleic acids as well as genes and drugs simultaneously.
Over the last decade, our company has made significant progress in the development of nucleic acid delivery systems for gene therapy. We are well-positioned to help our customers develop silica-based nanosystems as a favorable alternative to viral vectors or even other commonly used lipid or polymer vectors. If you are interested in our services, please contact us for more details.
- Zhou, Y.; et al. Mesoporous silica nanoparticles for drug and gene delivery. Acta pharmaceutica sinica B, 2018, 8(2): 165-177.
All of our services and products are intended for preclinical research use only and cannot be used to diagnose, treat or manage patients.