IFC-305 was encapsulated into nanostructured silica and functionalized with OH groups by the sol-gel process using tetraethoxysilane (TEOS), to be used for a drug delivery system for the treatment of liver cancer. Synthesis was carried out at different molar hydrolysis ratios: 4, 8, 16 and 24 mol of water and drug concentrations of 10, 20 and 30%. Characterization of IFC-silica reservoirs by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermal analysis (DTA-TGA), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and N-2 adsorption-desorption isotherms (BET), confirms that IFC-305 was trapped and stabilized in the SiO2-OH matrix. Drug release was determined by UV spectrophotometry over a period of 1000 h. Results showed that the morphology and specific surface area are controlled by the amount of loaded drug and water content for the different synthesized reservoir systems. However, the in vitro analysis of drug discharge showed that the rate of drug release was independent of the amount of hydrolyzed water, although it was affected by the quantity of drug loaded. The mechanism of drug release is a combination of dissolution and diffusion processes. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.