Anticancer applications of nanostructured silica-based materials functionalized with titanocene derivatives: Induction of cell death mechanism through TNFR1 modulation Articles uri icon

publication date

  • January 2018


  • 2


  • 11

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1996-1944


  • A series of cytotoxic titanocene derivatives have been immobilized onto nanostructured silica-based materials using two different synthetic routes, namely, (i) a simple grafting protocol via protonolysis of the Ti-Cl bond; and (ii) a tethering method by elimination of ethanol using triethoxysilyl moieties of thiolato ligands attached to titanium. The resulting nanostructured systems have been characterized by different techniques such as XRD, XRF, DR-UV, BET, SEM, and TEM, observing the incorporation of the titanocene derivatives onto the nanostructured silica and slight changes in the textural features of the materials after functionalization with the metallodrugs. A complete biological study has been carried out using the synthesized materials exhibiting moderate cytotoxicity in vitro against three human hepatic carcinoma (HepG2, SK-Hep-1, Hep3B) and three human colon carcinomas (DLD-1, HT-29, COLO320) and very low cytotoxicity against normal cell lines. In addition, the cells' metabolic activity was modified by a 24-h exposure in a dose-dependent manner. Despite not having a significant effect on TNFα or the proinflammatory interleukin 1α secretion, the materials strongly modulated tumor necrosis factor (TNF) signaling, even at sub-cytotoxic concentrations. This is achieved mainly by upregulation of the TNFR1 receptor production, something which has not previously been observed for these systems.


  • Chemistry
  • Materials science and engineering


  • nanostructured silica; titanocene; cytotoxicity; anticancer; tumor necrosis factor; tnfr1 modulation