Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology

, Volume 89, Issue 1, pp 45–55 | Cite as

New precursors for the preparation of pH-sensitive, targeting, and loaded non-porous bridged silsesquioxane nanoparticles

  • C. Théron
  • A. Birault
  • M. Bernhardt
  • L. M. A. Ali
  • C. Nguyen
  • M. Gary-Bobo
  • J. R. Bartlett
  • M. Wong Chi Man
  • C. CarcelEmail author


Two new tetrasilylated precursors based on a triazine derivative with molecular recognition properties have been synthesized and are shown to efficiently produce pH-sensitive, targeting, and (one-step) loaded non-porous bridged silsesquioxane nanoparticles (nano-BS). This was achieved by the sol−gel hydrolysis−condensation of the precursors in the presence of cyanuric acid (CA) H-bonded through the three complementary faces and mimicking 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) anticancer drug. The complex in the nano-BS is not affected under neutral medium and operates under acidic conditions to deliver the loaded molecule, as demonstrated by FTIR spectroscopic studies. Furthermore, thanks to the presence of the amino function, the nano-BS could be functionalized with targeting or fluorescent systems. Indeed, the grafting of fluorescein isothiocyanate revealed the internalization into cancer cells, confirming that nano-BS are promising materials as carriers to avoid the side effects of anticancer drug due to a controlled and targeted drug delivery.

SEM and confocal images of nano-BS.


Bridged silsesquioxane nanoparticles Drug delivery pH-sensitive One-step drug loading Targeting 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Théron
    • 1
  • A. Birault
    • 1
    • 2
  • M. Bernhardt
    • 1
  • L. M. A. Ali
    • 3
  • C. Nguyen
    • 3
  • M. Gary-Bobo
    • 3
  • J. R. Bartlett
    • 2
  • M. Wong Chi Man
    • 1
  • C. Carcel
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.ICGM, Univ MontpellierCNRS, ENSCMMontpellierFrance
  2. 2.Faculty of Science, Health, Education and EngineeringUniversity of the Sunshine CoastMaroochydore DCAustralia
  3. 3.Institut des Biomolécules Max Mousseron UMR 5247 CNRS-UMFaculté de PharmacieMontpellier Cedex 05France

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