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Temperature Treatment of Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) Extends Drug Delivery Release

Utilizing metal−organic frameworks (MOFs) as a biological carrier can lower the amount of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) required in cancer treatments to provide a more efficacious therapy. In new work, scientists at the University of Cambridge (UK), Northwestern University (USA), and King Abdulaziz University (Saudi Arabia), report development of a temperature treatment process for delaying the release of a model drug from the pores of NU-1000 and NU-901, while taking care to utilize these MOFs’ large pore volume and size to achieve exceptional model drug loading percentages over 35 wt %. The team showed that encapsulation of an anticancer therapeutic, alphacyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid (α-CHC), and subsequent temperature treatment produced loadings of up to 81 wt % and demonstrated efficacy at killing cells beyond the burst release effect. The scientists reported that video-rate super-resolution microscopy revealed movement of MOF particles when located outside of the cell boundary, and their subsequent immobilization when taken up by the cell. Through the use of optical sectioning structured illumination microscopy (SIM), they captured high-resolution 3D images showing MOF uptake by HeLa cells over a 24-hour period. The article was published online on May 16, 2017 in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The paper is titled “Temperature Treatment of Highly Porous Zirconium-Containing Metal−Organic Frameworks Extends Drug Delivery Release.” The authors “believe this is the first study of MOFs to employ super-resolution microscopy, and the first to utilize optical sectioning SIM to observe any nanocarrier in 3D. Through this work, we show the potential of engineering an optimal MOF nanosystem capable of providing long-term controlled release, as well as super-resolution methods for verifying in vitro phenomena.” The authors are Michelle H. Teplensky, Marcus Fantham, Peng Li, Timothy C. Wang, Joshua P. Mehta, Laurance J. Young, Peyman Z. Moghadam, Joseph T. Hupp, Omar K. Farha, Clemens F. Kaminski, and David Fairen-Jimenez. BioQuick News thanks Kevin O’Neill for the tip on this important story.

[JACS abstract]