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Chapter 2
Syntheses of Mesoporous Silica Materials

## Excerpt

Efficient drug carriers should have a high loading capacity, to bind the drug strongly enough to prevent the drug from being released prior to reaching the target cell, without any loss of pharmacological activity of the drug. At the present time, sol—gel technology has been widely applied for preparing bioactive materials [48,49]. The sol—gel technology allows manipulation of the structure of materials at the molecular level. Its ability to precisely control the nature of interfaces make it an interesting approach for a wide range of practical applications. Procedure of the synthesis is simple: a precursor (or precursor mixture) is mixed with water and a mutual solvent (mostly alcohol) in the presence of an acid or a base catalyst. Both the hydrolysis of the precursor and condensation of the hydrolysis products occur simultaneously, resulting in the formation of siloxane bonds (°Si—O—Si°) and a porous network of gel, with production of alcohol and water as by-products:

$≡Si-OR+H2O→≡Si-OH+ROHhydrolysis≡Si-OR+OH-Si≡→≡Si-O-Si≡+ROHalcohol condensation≡Si-OH+OH−Si≡→≡Si−O−Si≡+H2Owater condensation$

After further drying, the resulting material known as a xerogel is formed [48,49].

In this work the sol-gel method was applied to synthesize unmodified mesoporous silica materials as well as those modified by various functional groups.

• 2.1 Syntheses of unmodified silica materials
• 2.2 Synthesis of modified silica materials
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