Cell Adherence and Drug Delivery from Particle Based Mesoporous Silica Films

Spatially and temporally controlled drug delivery is important for implant and tissue engineering applications, as the efficacy and bioavailability of the drug can be enhanced, and can also allow for drugging stem cells at different stages of development. Long-term drug delivery over weeks to months is however difficult to achieve, and coating of 3D surfaces or creating patterned surfaces is a challenge using coating techniques like spin- and dip-coating. In this study, mesoporous films consisting of SBA-15 particles grown onto silicon wafers using wet processing were evaluated as a scaffold for drug delivery. Films with various particle sizes (100 – 900 nm) and hence thicknesses were grown onto OTS-functionalized silicon wafers using a direct growth method. Precise patterning of the areas for film growth could be obtained by local removal of the OTS functionalization through laser ablation. The films were incubated with the model drug DiO, and murine myoblast cells (C2C12 cells) were seeded onto films with different particle sizes. Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) was used to study the cell growth, and a vinculin-mediated adherence of C2C12 cells on all films was verified. The successful loading of DiO into the films was confirmed by UV-vis and CLSM. It was observed that the drugs did not desorb from the particles during 24 hours in cell culture. During adherent growth on the films for 4 h, small amounts of DiO and separate particles were observed inside single cells. After 24 h, a larger number of particles and a strong DiO signal were recorded in the cells, indicating a particle mediated drug uptake. A substantial amount of DiO loaded particles were however attached on the substrate after 24 making the films attractive as a long-term reservoir for drugs on e.g. medical implants.