Scientific reports

Engineering functionalized multi-phased silicon/silicon oxide nano-biomaterials to passivate the aggressive proliferation of cancer.

PMID 26190009


Currently, the use of nano silicon in cancer therapy is limited as drug delivery vehicles and markers in imaging, not as manipulative/controlling agents. This is due to limited properties that native states of nano silicon and silicon oxides offers. We introduce nano-functionalized multi-phased silicon/silicon oxide biomaterials synthesized via ultrashort pulsed laser synthesis, with tunable properties that possess inherent cancer controlling properties that can passivate the progression of cancer. This nanostructured biomaterial is composed of individual functionalized nanoparticles made of a homogenous hybrid of multiple phases of silicon and silicon oxide in increasing concentration outwards from the core. The chemical properties of the proposed nanostructure such as number of phases, composition of phases and crystal orientation of each functionalized nanoparticle in the three dimensional nanostructure is defined based on precisely tuned ultrashort pulsed laser-material interaction mechanisms. The amorphous rich phased biomaterial shows a 30 fold (95%) reduction in number of cancer cells compared to bulk silicon in 48 hours. Further, the size of the cancer cells reduces by 76% from 24 to 48 hours. This method exposes untapped properties of combination of multiple phases of silicon oxides and its applications in cancer therapy.