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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 541763, 13 pages
Research Article

Preparation and In Vitro Evaluation of a Multifunctional Iron Silicate@Liposome Nanohybrid for pH-Sensitive Doxorubicin Delivery and Photoacoustic Imaging

1School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361102, China
2College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China

Received 30 November 2014; Revised 5 February 2015; Accepted 9 February 2015

Academic Editor: Zehra Durmus

Copyright © 2015 Zehua Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


For preventing premature drug release in neutral environment and avoiding them being trapped into the endosomal/lysosomal system, we developed a novel iron silicate@liposome hybrid (ILH) formulation, which can be used as a carrier to transport doxorubicin (DOX) in a pH-sensitive manner and to escape from endosomal/lysosomal trapping through “proton-sponge” effect. The high intensity of photoacoustic signal from in vitro photoacoustic imaging (PAI) experiments suggests that it is a promising candidate for PAI agent, providing the potential for simultaneously bioimaging and cancer-targeting drug delivery. Cytotoxicity of our formulation toward tumor cells was remarkably higher than free DOX (% and %, ). Confocal laser scanning microscopy experiments showed the enhanced transportation and enrichment process of DOX in QSG-7703 cells. Taking together, we developed an easy approach to construct a multifunctional anticancer drug delivery/imaging system with a potency as a PAI agent. The strategy of combining drug carrier and imaging agent is an emerging platform for further construction of nanoparticle and may play a significant role in cancer therapy and diagnosis.