The particular properties of nanostructured porous silicon (nanoPS) make it an attractive material for controlled and localized release of therapeutics within the body, aiming at increased efficacy and reduced risks of potential side effects. Since this is a rapidly evolving field as a consequence of the number of research groups involved, a critical review of the state of the art is necessary. In this work, the most promising and successful applications of nanoPS in the field of drug delivery are reviewed and discussed. Two key issues such as drug loading and release are also analyzed in detail. The development of multifunctional (hybrid) systems, aiming at imparting additional functionalities to the nanoPS particles such as luminescence, magnetic response and/or plasmonic effects (allowing simultaneous tracking and guiding), is also examined. Nanostructured materials based on silicon are promising platforms for pharmaceutical applications given their ability to degrade and low toxicity. However, a very limited number of clinical applications have been demonstrated so far.
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