Mesoporous Santa Barbara Amorphous-16 (SBA-16) silica was synthesized via facile sol-gel method and functionalized using a silanizing agent, 3-amino-propyl-triethoxysilane, cyanuric chloride and dopamine. SBA-16/dopamine was characterized for the structure and morphology by x-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. Silica was amorphous in nature. Analysis of SBA-16 silica by Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) method indicated that the material exhibits type IV isotherm to support its mesoporous structure. Mesoporous SBA-16/dopamine was used as a nanocarrier and the physicochemical changes and release rate of the antifatal model drug, atorvastatin loaded into nano-porous cavities of silica via in vivo application was investigated. Adult rats received a high-fat diet (HFD) for eight weeks. During the last four weeks, the HFD groups received normal saline, atorvastatin (5 mg/kg bw), nanocomposite (10 mg/kg bw), and atorvastatin along with the nanocomposite. Body weight, lipid profile, catalase, superoxide dismutase, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, lipid peroxidation, and liver histology were assessed. Administration of nanocomposite, and atorvastatin, alone, improved the HFD induced dyslipidemia in HFD-rats. The nanocomposites, and atorvastatin, significantly lowered body weight and malondialdehyde content, and improved the antioxidant enzymes of rats. Histopathological studies confirmed the lipid-lowering efficacy of the nanocomposites. The group receiving SBA-16 silica nanoparticles alone showed more improvement in hyperlipidemia and oxidant status than the group treated with SBA-16 silica together with atorvastatin. Further studies will be necessary to investigate the interaction between SBA-16 silica nanoparticles with the statin and non-statin drugs. (C) 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.