The present study deals with the synthesis andfunctionalization of mesoporous silica nanoparticles as drug delivery platforms. SBA-15 nanorods with high surface area (1010 m2g-1) were functionalized by post grafting method using 3-mercaptopropyl trimethoxysilane (MPTS). The parent and thiol-functionalized SBA-15 nanorods were used as nanocarriers for an anticancer drug (gemcitabine). The characterization of all samples were done by small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), N2 adsorption/desorption, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), FTIR and UV spectroscopies. The adsorption and release properties of all samples were investigated. It was found that the surface functionalization increases the interaction between the carrier and gemcitabine and results in the loading enhancement of the drug. The obtained results reveal that the surface functionalization leads towards significant decrease of the drug release rate. These findings demonstrate that the functionalized mesoporous system is appropriate drug delivery platform due to their loading content and the possibility to modify drug release.