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Design of a Novel Mesoporous Organosilica Hybrid Microcarrier: a pH Stimuli-Responsive Dual-Drug-Delivery Vehicle for Intracellular Delivery of Anticancer Agents



The integration of unique functionality into mesoporous organosilica hybrid carriers is an important issue in solving the challenges of dual/multi delivery for combined therapy with drugs with a distinct therapeutic effects. Newly designed mesoporous organosilica hybrid microcarriers (HMCs) are synthesized on the basis of the triblock-copolymer-templated sol–gel method. The synthesized HMCs, which integrate both heteroaromatic pyridine and diurea functionalities, are combined in a mesoporous organosilica hybrid network to design functional hybrid microcarriers with a range of mechanisms for the pH-triggered release of two drugs. The drugs include the hydrophilic anticancer therapeutic agent 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and the non-steroidal hydrophobic anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen (IBU). 5-FU and IBU are encapsulated in the HMCs using multiple hydrogen bonding and electrostatic interaction sites and are delivered under a range of pH conditions. The release of 5-FU and IBU is tested at pH 5.5 and 7.4. The results show that the release is sensitive to pH. The antitumor activity of the released 5-FU is evaluated using the MCF-7 cell line. The released 5-FU has the capacity to kill cancer cells under acidic pH conditions.