Spatiotemporal control over the delivery of therapeutic agents is an outstanding challenge to cancer treatment. By taking advantage of recent advances in DNA aptamer biology and mesoporous silica nanotechnology, we report a general approach to design and fabricate controlled release drug delivery systems that are able to effectively target cancer cells. Specifically, polyvalent mesoporous silica nanocarriers-aptamer bioconjugates were constructed; the high-surface-area nanoporous core allowed high drug loading and the surface-conjugated aptamer facilitated the nanoparticle targeting of nucleolin overexpressed MCF-7 cells. The efficient cancer-cell-specific fluorescent imaging and drug delivery of the bioconjugates outline the great potential for therapeutic applications.
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