Water dispersible boron nanoparticles have great potential as materials for boron neutron capture therapy of cancer and magnetic resonance imaging, if they are prepared on a large scale with uniform size and shape and hydrophilic modifiable surface. We report the first method to prepare spherical, monodisperse, water dispersible boron core silica shell nanoparticles (B@SiO2 NPs) suitable for aforementioned biomedical applications. In this method, 40 nm elemental boron nanoparticles, easily prepared by mechanical milling and carrying 10-undecenoic acid surface ligands, are hydrosilylated using triethoxysilane, followed by base-catalyzed hydrolysis of tetraethoxysilane, which forms a 10-nm silica shell around the boron core. This simple two-step process converts irregularly shaped hydrophobic boron particles into the spherically shaped uniform nanoparticles. The B@SiO2 NPs are dispersible in water and the silica shell surface can be modified with primary amines that allow for the attachment of a fluorophore and, potentially, of targeting moieties. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].
- Biomedical applications
- Core-shell particles