University Complutense of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
María Vallet-Regí is a Spanish chemist, scientist and Professor at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain. She is a widely recognized and cited researcher in Biomedicine, particularly in the fields of regenerative biomaterials and drug delivery systems. Her publications (more than 650 peer-reviewed papers) have been cited over 37,500 times and her h-index is 92. Prof. Vallet-Regí has been awarded many important International prizes and she is member of the Spanish academies of Pharmacy and Engineering and the International College of Fellows of Biomaterials Science and Engineering (FBSE) and the American Institute for Biomedical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE).
Prof. Vallet-Regí is widely regarded for her contributions to Biotechnology and Medicine. Moreover, she is a Highly Cited Researcher 2018 (Clarivate Analytics). This list recognizes world-class researchers selected for their exceptional research performance, demonstrated by production of multiple highly cited papers that rank in the top 1% by citations per field and year in Web of Science. She is recognized as a pioneer in the field of ceramic materials applied to medicine. On one hand, she has been working in the biomaterials area developing bioceramics for bone grafting applications and scaffolds for regenerative biomedicine. On the other hand, prof. Vallet-Regí has intensely investigated on nanocarriers of different nature to deliver therapeutic agents to diseased tissues without affecting healthy organs. She was the pioneer who suggested introducing drugs into the pores of mesoporous silica materials, which inspired thousands of publications worldwide involving mesoporous silica nanoparticles for drug delivery.
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Mesoporous silica nanoparticles as drug carriers against bone diseases
Mesoporous silica nanoparticles have already proven to be adequate nanocarriers for various chemical and biological species. For instance, they are valuable tools when carrying antitumor agents selectively to a tumor tissue, and releasing them there thanks to the application of an external stimulus. We use the term smart because those nanocarriers are able to release the drugs when and where they are needed. The surface of our nanosystems can be decorated with molecules able to recognize specifically tumor cells and to trigger the penetration of nanocarriers into them. The main advantage of developing selective nanocarriers able to accumulate only in tumor tissues are: increased selectivity of the therapy, which allows reducing the cytotoxic dosage; higher control over the administered doses; and the reduction of side effects, because the drugs will not be distributed throughout the whole body. Taking into account that most anticancer drugs are cytotoxic, their release must take place only inside tumor cells. Moreover, a rationale design of mesoporous silica carriers could be also employed for the treatment of other bone diseases such as infection and osteoporosis.