Fluorescent (rhodamine), folate decorated and doxorubicin charged, PEGylated nanoparticles synthesis
PEGylated silica nanoparticles, giving very stable aqueous sols, were successfully functionalised with rhodamine, one of the more stable fluorophore; they were also decorated with the targeting agent folic acid (FA) and charged with the well known drug doxorubicin. Rhodamine functionalization required a modification of the synthesis route of the nanoparticles (NP). Functionalization with FA required activation with 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide hydrochloride. Folate decorated NP were easily charged with doxorubicin. The experimental results proved the successfulness of the functionalization. The bond to the NP does not reduce the therapeutic efficacy of the drug. The calculated encapsulation efficiency (32 %) was only a little lower than the value (47 %) reported for the very popular PEGylated PLGA NP.