© 2015 Taylor & Francis. Introduction: Silica materials, in particular mesoporous silicas, have demonstrated excellent properties to enhance the oral bioavailability of poorly water-soluble drugs. Current research in this area is focused on investigating the kinetic profile of drug release from these carriers and manufacturing approaches to scale-up production for commercial manufacture.Areas covered: This review provides an overview of different methods utilized to load drugs onto mesoporous silica carriers. The influence of silica properties and silica pore architecture on drug loading and release are discussed. The kinetics of drug release from mesoporous silica systems is examined and the manufacturability and stability of these formulations are reviewed. Finally, the future prospects of mesoporous silica drug delivery systems are considered.Expert opinion: Substantial progress has been made in the characterization and development of mesoporous drug delivery systems for drug dissolution enhancement. However, more research is required to fully understand the drug release kinetic profile from mesoporous silica materials. Incomplete drug release from the carrier and the possibility of drug re-adsorption onto the silica surface need to be investigated. Issues to be addressed include the manufacturability and regulation status of formulation approaches employing mesoporous silica to enhance drug dissolution. While more research is needed to support the move of this technology from the bench to a commercial medicinal product, it is a realistic prospect for the near future.