EFFECT OF SURFACTANTS ON THE CHARACTERISTICS OF MESOPOROUS SILICA DURING SYNTHESIS
Mesoporous silica (MPS), a carrier for active pharmaceutical ingredients, can be synthesised in a variety of particle and pore morphologies. Despite being a simple synthesis system, successful tuning of MPS still needs a better understanding of ingredients during controlled synthesis for achieving desired particle size, shape, pore arrangement and size. The present study aimed to synthesise ordered MPS with large pore size >5 nm and to evaluate the effect of surfactants on the characteristics of MPS during synthesis. Two forms of mesoporous silica particles (MPS) were synthesised separately using different surfactant templates (Cetyltrimethylammonium bromide & Pluronic P123) and Tetraethyl orthosilicate precursor by Stober Sol-Gel approach. The synthesised samples were analysed in comparison for their morphology (SEM), particle size, surface area (BET), functional groups (ATR/FTIR), crystallinity (XRD), and their drug loading efficiency percentage. MPS synthesised with CTAB template (MPSCTAB) were short cubic-shaped particles with size <800 nm and BET surface area 858.94Â±1.57 m2gâ€‘1, while MPS synthesised with P123 template (MPSP123) were long rod-shaped particles with length >1 Âµm, and BET surface area 631.32Â±1.88 m2g-1. The BJH adsorption-desorption pore size and pore volume of MPSP123 were higher than MPSCTAB. The drug loading efficiency of MPSP123 was significantly higher than that of MPSCTAB. XRD diffraction patterns and IR spectrums described the amorphous nature of silica for both forms of MPS samples. Advantages of MPSCTAB were having smaller particle size and larger surface area, which can lead to higher drug dissolution and the faster drug release. In contrast, MPSP123 had larger pore volume and pore size, which resulted in having better loading efficiency. In conclusion, ordered MPS particles were successfully developed as a promising carrier for loading biologics with emphasis on the details of the synthesis process.