Tobacco Mosaic Virus-Functionalized Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles, a Wool-Ball-like Nanostructure for Drug Delivery

Laura Marín-Caba, Paul L. Chariou, Carmen Pesquera, Miguel A. Correa-Duarte, and Nicole F. Steinmetz
Langmuir 2019, 35, 203-211


The design of versatile tools to improve cell targeting and drug delivery in medicine has become increasingly pertinent to nanobiotechnology. Biological and inorganic nanocarrier drug delivery systems are being explored, showing advantages and disadvantages in terms of cell targeting and specificity, cell internalization, efficient payload delivery, and safety profiles. Combining the properties of a biological coating on top of an inorganic nanocarrier, we hypothesize that this hybrid system would improve nanoparticle–cell interactions, resulting in enhanced cell targeting and uptake properties compared to the bare inorganic nanocarrier. Toward this goal, we engineered a hierarchical assembly featuring the functionalization of cargo-loaded mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNPs) with tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) as a biological coating. The MSNP functions as a delivery system because the porous structure enables high therapeutic payload capacity, and TMV serves as a biocompatible coating to enhance cell interactions. The resulting MSNP@TMV nanohybrids have a wool-ball-like appearance and demonstrate enhanced cell uptake, hence cargo delivery properties. The MSNP@TMV have potential for medical applications such as drug delivery, contrast agent imaging, and immunotherapy.

Langmuir, 2019