Theranostic nanomedicine by surface nanopore engineering

Zhenli Li, Luodan Yu, Tian Yang, Yu Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Theranostic nanomedicine that integrates diagnostic and therapeutic agents into one nanosystem has gained considerable momentum in the field of cancer treatment. Among diverse strategies for achieving theranostic capabilities, surface-nanopore engineering based on mesoporous silica coating has attracted great interest because of their negligible cytotoxicity and chemically active surface that can be easily modified to introduce various functional groups (e.g., −COOH, −NH2, −SH, etc.) via silanization, which can satisfy various requirements of conjugating biological molecules or functional nanoparticles. In addition, the nanopore-engineered biomaterials possess large surface area and high pore volume, ensuring desirable loading of therapeutic guest molecules. In this review, we comprehensively summarize the synthetic procedure/paradigm of nanopore engineering and further broad theranostic applications. Such nanopore-engineering strategy endows the biocompatible nanocomposites (e.g., Au, Ag, graphene, upconversion nanoparticles, Fe3O4, MXene, etc.) with versatile functional moieties, which enables the development of multifunctional nanoplatforms for multimodal diagnostic bio-imaging, photothermal therapy, photodynamic therapy, targeted drug delivery, synergetic therapy and imaging-guided therapies. Therefore, mesoporous silica-based surface-nanopore engineering integrates intriguing unique features for broadening the biomedical applications of the single mono-functional nanosystem, facilitating the development and further clinical translation of theranostic nanomedicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1243-1260
Number of pages18
JournalScience China Chemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • cancer
  • mesoporous silica
  • nanomedicine
  • nanopore engineering
  • theranostic


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