Atomic-Level Insights into Hollow Silica-Based Materials for Drug Delivery: Effects of Wettability and Porosity

HX Song and HY Dong and WH Dong and Y Luo, ACS BIOMATERIALS SCIENCE & ENGINEERING, 9, 6156-6164 (2023).

DOI: 10.1021/acsbiomaterials.3c01063

Experimental evidence has demonstrated that the drug carrier capacity can be significantly enhanced through the use of hollow silica particles. Nevertheless, the effects of varying functional drug carrier surfaces and porous structures remain ambiguous. This study employs molecular dynamics simulations to examine the effects of varying the surface wettability, pore size, and flow velocity on the transfer process. The different levels of wettability of the silica surface with the coarse-grained water model is illustrated by adjusted interaction parameters. The effect of wettability is investigated. With weak interactions, the flow molecules form a nanodroplet to transfer through the porous structure. A strong interaction will lead to molecules flowing as a liquid film to transfer through the structure. Interestingly, the "contradiction effect" is observed when the flow molecules fail to penetrate the porous structure with weak interactions, during which surface tension dominates their flow behavior. Moreover, different porous structures are considered. The flow behaviors are divided into three processes: (1) fast flowing, (2) transient point, and (3) penetration flowing. Furthermore, the concept of surface molecules is defined to quantitatively measure the effect of porosity. A recommended contact angle is proposed. The results will pave the way for more carrier structures in medical engineering.

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