Mesoporous material systems for catalysis and drug delivery
Sammanfattning: Hybrid material systems possess multi-functional properties which make them intriguing for the materials science community since very early dates. However, it is not straightforward to produce such material systems. A smart and efficient approach is necessary to extract the desired properties of each component under the desired conditions. This study evolved to its last form primarily around this notion, where the development of a hybrid material is the core of the work. This hybrid material is then further explored for two different applications in the catalysis and drug delivery fields.A nanoassembly was established around a mesoporous silica support. SBA-15 was picked as this support among the other mesoporous silica due to its well-defined pore structure and accessible pore volume. The silica framework was doped with Zr atoms and the pores were partly infiltrated with Cu nanoparticles resulting in a hybrid material with tunable properties. SBA-15 was synthesized by a sol-gel method where a micellar solution was employed as a template for the silica framework. To achieve the doped version, a Zr precursor was added to the synthesis solution. The effects of different synthesis conditions, such as the synthesis catalyst (F-or a Cl-salt) and the Si source (tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) or sodium metasilicate (SMS)) on the characteristics of the final material were investigated. It was observed that these changes in the synthesis conditions yielded different particle morphology, pore size (11-15 nm), and specific surface area (400-700 m2/g). Cu nanoparticles (NPs) were grown in the (Zr-)SBA-15 support using infiltration (Inf) or evaporation induced wetness impregnation (EIWI) methods. The infiltration method is based on functionalizing the (Zr-)SBA-15 support surfaces before the Cu ion attachment whereas EIWI is based on slow evaporation of the liquid from the (Zr-)SBA-15 - Cu aqueous suspension. Both methods are designed to yield preferential growth of Cu NPs in the pores with a diameter smaller than 10 nm and in oxidized form. However, depending on the loading method used, different chemical states of the final material were achieved, i.e. Zr content and porous network properties are different. Cu-Zr-SBA-15 nanoassemblies produced under various synthesis conditions were used for the catalytic conversion of CO2into valuable fuels such as methanol and dimethyl ether (DME). The effect of different chemical states of the catalyst arising from variations in the synthesis parameters was investigated. It was found that the Si precursor (TEOS or SMS) had a considerable impact on the overall performance of the catalyst whereas the Cu loading method (Inf or EIWI) changed the catalytic selectivity between DME and methanol. The activity of the catalyst was further investigated in a time-evolution study where the accumulation of each product in the gas phase and the molecular groups attached to the catalyst surface were recorded over time. Accordingly, thermodynamic equilibrium was achieved on the 14th day of the reaction under 250°C and 33 bar. The resulting total CO2conversion was 24%, which is the thermodynamically highest possible conversion, according to theoretical calculations. It was also concluded from the experimental results that, DME is formed by a combination of two methoxy surface groups. Additionally, the formation of DME boosts the total CO2conversion to fuels, which otherwise is limited to 9.5%.The design of Cu-Zr-SBA-15 was also investigated for drug delivery applications, due to its potential as a biomaterial, e.g., a filler in dental composites, and the antibacterial properties of Cu. Also, the bioactivity of SiO2and ZrO2was considered to be an advantage. With this aim, Cu infiltrated Zr doped SBA-15 material was prepared by using TEOS as the silica precursor and the Inf-method to grow Cu NPs. The performance of the final material as a drug delivery vehicle was tested by an in-vitro delivery study with chlorhexidine digluconate.The nanoassemblies show a drug loading capacity of 25-40% [mg drug / mg (drug+carrier)]. The drug release was determined to be composed of two steps. First, a burst release of the drug molecules that are loosely held in the voids of the mesoporous carrier followed by the diffusion of the drug molecules that are attached to the carrier surface. The presence of Zr and Cu limits the burst release and beneficially slows down the drug release process. The effect of pore properties of SBA-15 was explored in a study where the antibiotic doxycycline hyclate was loaded in SBA-15 materials with different pore sizes. It was observed that the pore size is directly proportional to the drug loading capacity [mg drug / mg (drug+carrier)] and the released drug percentage (the released drug amount/total amount of loaded drug). The drug release was fast due to its weak interactions with the SBA-15 materials. In summary, this work demonstrates the multifunctional character of a smart-tailored nanoassembly which gives valuable insights for two distinct applications in catalysis and drug delivery.
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