Synthesis and characterization of microporous hollow core-shell silica nanoparticles (HCSNs) of tunable thickness for controlled release of doxorubicin

  • D. Deepika
  • JagadeeshBabu PonnanEttiyappanEmail author
Research Paper


Hollow core-shell silica nanoparticles (HCSNs) are being considered as one of the most favorable drug carriers to accomplish targeted drug delivery. In the present study, we developed a simple two-step method, employing polystyrene (PS) nanoparticles (150 ± 20 nm) as a sacrificial template for the synthesis of microporous HCSNs of size 230 ± 30 nm. PS core and the wall structure directing agent cetyl trimethyl ammonium bromide (CTAB) were removed by calcination. Monodispersed spherical HCSNs were synthesized by optimising the parameters like water/ethanol volume ratio, PS/tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) weight ratio, concentration of ammonia, and CTAB. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed the formation of hollow core-shell structure of silica with tunable thickness from 15 to 30 nm while tailoring the concentration of silica precursor. The results obtained from the cumulative release studies of doxorubicin loaded microporous HCSNs demonstrated the dependence of shell thickness on the controlled drug release behavior. HCSNs with highest shell thickness of 30 nm and lowest surface area of 600 m2/g showed delay in the doxorubicin release, proving their application as a drug carrier in targeted drug delivery systems. The novel concept of application of microporous HCSNs of pore size ~ 1.3 nm with large specific surface area in the field of drug delivery is successful.


Polystyrene Hollow core-shell Silica Tunable thickness Microporous Drug delivery Nanomedicine 



This study was funded by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), India with grant no. 22/646/13/EMR-II.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical EngineeringNational Institute of Technology KarnatakaMangaloreIndia

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