PloS one

Synthesis Mechanism and Thermal Optimization of an Economical Mesoporous Material Using Silica: Implications for the Effective Removal or Delivery of Ibuprofen.

PMID 26161510


Mesoporous silica materials (MSMs) were synthesized economically using silica (SiO2) as a precursor via a modified alkaline fusion method. The MSM prepared at 500°C (MSM-500) had the highest surface area, pore size, and volume, and the results of isotherms and the kinetics of ibuprofen (IBP) removal indicated that MSM-500 had the highest sorption capacity and fastest removal speed vs. SBA-15 and zeolite. Compared with commercial granular activated carbon (GAC), MSM-500 had a ~100 times higher sorption rate at neutral pH. IBP uptake by MSM-500 was thermodynamically favorable at room temperature, which was interpreted as indicating relatively weak bonding because the entropy (∆adsS, -0.07 J mol(-1) K(-1)) was much smaller. Five times recycling tests revealed that MSM-500 had 83-87% recovery efficiencies and slower uptake speeds due to slight deformation of the outer pore structure. In the IBP delivery test, MSM-500 drug loading was 41%, higher than the reported value of SBA-15 (31%). The in vitro release of IBP was faster, almost 100%, reaching equilibrium within a few hours, indicating its effective loading and unloading characteristics. A cost analysis study revealed that the MSM was ~10-70 times cheaper than any other mesoporous silica material for the removal or delivery of IBP.