Mesoporous silica nanoparticles and films prepared by surfactant-templated sol-gel techniques are useful supports for the creation of functional materials. When attached to the silica, molecular machines that undergo large-amplitude motions in response to light, redox, pH, or enzyme activation can be used to control the release of guest molecules trapped within the pores of the supports. Three controlled release systems we have focused on include nanoimpellers, nanovalves, and snap-tops. We are interested in developing new systems, as well as improving the biocompatibility and investigating some of the fundamental physical properties of existing systems.


Stimulated Release of Size–Selected Cargos in Succession from Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles. Cheng Wang, Zongxi Li, Justin W. Gaines, Yan-Li Zhao, Dennis Cao, O. Altan Bozdemir, Michael W. Ambrogio, Marco Frasconi, Youssry Y. Botros, Jeffrey I. Zink, and J. Fraser Stoddart. Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2012, 51, pp 5460-5465.

Measurement of Uptake and Release Capacities of Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles Enabled by Nanovalve GatesZongxi Li, Jeff L. Nyalosaso, Angela A. Hwang, Daniel P. Ferris, Sui Yang, Gaelle Derrien, Clarence Charnay, Jean-Olivier Durand, and Jeffrey I. Zink J. Phys. Chem. C2011, 115 (40), pp 19496–19506.

Peptide modified mesoporous silica nanocontainers. Fabiola Porta, Gerda E.M. Lamers, Jeffrey I. Zink, and Alexander Kros,  Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2011 13(21), pp 9982-9985.