This project will focus on the use of nanoporous metal organic frameworks (Fe, Zn, Ti) for bioapplications. These systems are exciting porous solids, built up from inorganic clusters and polycarboxylates. This results in open-framework solids with different pore shapes and dimensions, and applications such as catalysis, separation and storage of gases. I have recently initiated the synthesis of new trivalent transition metal carboxylates. Among them, the metal carboxylates MIL-100 and MIL-101 (MIL: Materials of Institut Lavoisier) are spectacular solids with giant pores (25-34 Å), accessible metal sites and huge surface areas (3100-5900 m2.g-1). Recently, it was shown that these solids could be used for drug delivery with a loading of 1.4 g of Ibuprofen per gram of MIL-101 solid and a total release in six days. This project will concentrate on the implication of MOFs for drug release and other bioapplications. Whereas research on drug delivery is currently focused either on the use of bio-compatible polymers or mesoporous materials, our method will combine advantages of both routes including a high loading and a slow release of therapeutic molecules. A second application will use solids with accessible metal sites to coordinate NO for its controlled delivery. This would provide exogenous NO for prophylactic and therapeutic processes, anti-thrombogenic medical devices, improved dressings for wounds and ulcers, and the treatment of fungal and bacterial infections. Finally, other applications will be envisaged such as the purification of physiological fluids. The project, which will consist of a systematic study of the relation between these properties and both the composition and structure of the hybrid solids, will be assisted by a strong modelling effort including top of the art computational methods (QSAR and QSPKR). This highly impact project will be realised by assembling experienced researchers in multidisplinary areas including materials science, biology and modelling. It will involve P. Horcajada (Institut Lavoisier), whose background in pharmaceutical science will fit with my experience in inorganic chemistry and G. Maurin (Institut Gerhardt, Montpellier) expert in computational chemistry.
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