Co-delivery of a hydrophobic small molecule and a hydrophilic peptide by porous silicon nanoparticles

Dongfei Liu, Luis M. Bimbo, Ermei Mäkilä, Francesca Villanova, Martti Kaasalainen, Barbara Herranz-Blanco, Carla M. Caramella, Vesa-Pekka Lehto, Jarno Salonen, Karl-Heinz Herzig, Jouni Hirvonen, Hélder A. Santos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Citations (Scopus)


Nanoparticulate drug delivery systems offer remarkable opportunities for clinical treatment. However, there are several challenges when they are employed to deliver multiple cargos/payloads, particularly concerning the synchronous delivery of small molecular weight drugs and relatively larger peptides. Since porous silicon (PSi) nanoparticles (NPs) can easily contain high payloads of drugs with various properties, we evaluated their carrier potential in multi-drug delivery for co-loading of the hydrophobic drug indomethacin and the hydrophilic human peptide YY3-36 (PYY3-36). Sequential loading of these two drugs into the PSi NPs enhanced the drug release rate of each drug and also their amount permeated across Caco-2 and Caco-2/HT29 cell monolayers. Regardless of the loading approach used, dual or single, the drug permeation profiles were in good correlation with their drug release behaviour. Furthermore, the permeation studies indicated the critical role of the mucus intestinal layer and the paracellular resistance in the permeation of the therapeutic compounds across the intestinal wall. Loading with PYY3-36 also greatly improved the cytocompatibility of the PSi NPs. Conformational analysis indicated that the PYY3-36 could still display biological activity after release from the PSi NPs and permeation across the intestinal cell monolayers. These results are the first demonstration of the promising potential of PSi NPs for simultaneous multi-drug delivery of both hydrophobic and hydrophilic compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-278
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Controlled Release
Issue number2
Early online date9 Jun 2013
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • animals
  • anti-inflammatory agents
  • Caco-2 cells
  • cell line
  • cell survival
  • coculture techniques
  • drug carriers
  • HT29 cells
  • Hep G2 cells
  • humans
  • hydrophobic interactions
  • indomethacin
  • mice
  • nanoparticles
  • peptide fragments
  • peptide YY
  • permeability
  • porosity
  • silicon
  • hydrophilic interactions


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