Better made possible. Greater made probable.
MOFs are the subject of intense research in university laboratories around the world, generating the publication of thousands of peer-reviewed articles every year. The unique properties of MOFs provide entirely new ways of manipulating, storing and reacting to a wide variety of substances. This is leading to the rapid development of new applications in the areas of pharmaceuticals, medical imaging and sensing.
Drug Storage and Delivery
The development of promising drug candidates is regularly abandoned due to the inability to control delivery of the medicine to where it is needed most. Non-toxic and biodegradable MOFs have been shown to be suitable for the encapsulation and delivery of a large number of therapeutic molecules, including several challenging antitumour and antiretroviral drugs. The ability to tailor the pore size of a MOF means that large storage capacities and extended release times can be achieved.
Medical imaging, such as MRI, typically relies on significant doses of administered contrast agents to distinguish adequately between normal and diseased tissues. Developing more sensitive methods of biomedical imaging with minimal amounts of contrast agents, is a technical challenge in order to achieve the early and accurate diagnosis of illnesses. MOFs are intrinsically biodegradable and their high porosity makes them ideal for targeted delivery of entrapped agents. Trials have shown that MOFs can be targeted to specific regions of the body.
The customization of the porosity and the ultra high surface area of MOFs make them ideal candidates for recognising analytes in sensing applications. MOFs have the potential to overcome many of the challenges of selectivity that plague other sensor materials, and to form the basis of compact, robust and highly sensitive devices.