The project NanoBioMOFs (Nanoscale Metal–Organic Frameworks for Biomedical Applications) is a step forward to the researcher’s work undertaken during his postgraduate studies which comprised synthesising bulk Metal–Organic Frameworks (MOFs) for applications in gas storage, gas and liquid separation and molecular sensing. MOFs can be obtained from the connection of metal centres and organic ligands through the space in such a way that the structures obtained can be extended in one–, two– or three–dimensions. The applicant wishes to extend his knowledge in the same research area but from a completely different viewpoint, synthesising MOFs at the nanoscale regime for applications in drug delivery. To date, nanoparticle systems (polymer, iron or gold nanoparticles) have been used as drug delivery agents. This methodology has attracted much attention as it can improve many of the drawbacks of conventional therapy including high doses, rapid clearance, poor pharmacokinetics and strong side effects. Porous MOFs can be also used as drug delivery carriers due to their tunable host–guest properties and the ability to post–modify their internal surface. Although MOFs are excellent candidates to deliver drugs, they cannot be used in the form of traditional bulk but they have to be miniaturized at the nanometre scale. The aim of this project will be the synthesis of known and novel biocompatible, water–resistant MOFs based on biological ligands at the nanoscale, loading of MOFs with anticancer drugs and check their in vitro safety and therapeutic efficacy for chronic diseases such as cancer.
This project allows the applicant to conduct truly interdisciplinary and inter–sectoral research, complementing his expertise in synthetic and materials chemistry in nanotechnology (Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology) and biomedicine (Biotechnology and Biomedicine Institute) at laboratories with long–standing collaboration, unique validation models and and state–of–the–art infrastructure.
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