Journal Club of the Week: Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs) and their biomedical applications

In the 26th December 2016, journal club meeting, Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs) and their biomedical applications was discussed. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a class of crystalline materials that consist of coordination bonds between transition-metal cations and multidentate organic linkers. The structure of MOFs is characterized by an open framework that can be porous (porous materials). MOFs can be used for gas storage, purification, and separation, as well catalysis and sensing applications. The precise control over the assembly of MOFs is expected to propel this field further into new realms of synthetic chemistry in which far more sophisticated materials may be accessed. For example, materials can be envisaged as having (i) compartments linked together to operate separately, yet function synergistically; (ii) dexterity to carry out parallel operations; (iii) ability to count, sort, and code information; and (iv) capability of dynamics with high fidelity. Efforts in this direction are already being undertaken through the introduction of a large number of different functional groups within the pores of MOFs. The yields multivariate frameworks in which the varying arrangement of functionalities gives rise to materials that offer a synergistic combination of properties. Future work will involve the assembly of chemical structures from many different types of building unit, such that the structures’ function is dictated by the heterogeneity of the specific arrangement of their constituents. The biomedical application is due to the unique physical and chemical characteristics of MOFs make them promising candidates for drug storage and drug delivery, nitric oxide storage and delivery, imaging, and sensing. The recent progress of using MOFs as a promising platform for biomedical applications due to their high drug loading capacity, biodegradability, and versatile functionality was noted. The potential of MOFs for continuous development and implementation of biomedical applications by discussing issues, including stability, toxicology, and biocompatibility was mentioned. Although significant progress has been made in utilizing MOFs for biomedical applications, further improvements must still occur before MOFs can become viable therapeutic options.