Research Topic

Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) for Nanomedicine

About this Research Topic

The past decade has witnessed the revolutionary impact of nanotechnology on modern nanomedicine, which offers numerous exciting possibilities in healthcare by utilizing the unique properties of nanosystems that often differ in terms of physio-chemical or biological properties from their analog at a bigger scale for diagnosis, delivery, sensing or actuation purposes in healthcare. Advanced nanosystems are able to alleviate many of the pitfalls associated with free drug therapeutics, improve the efficacy of conventional drugs, minimize side effects and increase patient compliance. Because nanomedicines are exposed to complex interactions with the components of the biological environment upon administration, the particle size, shape, surface chemistry and morphology are critical factors determining the performance and interaction potential of nanomedicines with the surrounding media.

Among various nanosystems, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) made of organic ligands and metal ions offer a powerful platform for wide applications ranging from gas capture and storage to catalysis, owing to their high surface area, tunable structural features and pore sizes, easy synthesis, high versatile composition, and high chemical/thermal stability. In particular, nanometric MOFs (nanoMOFs) for nanomedicine are gaining tremendous attention and this emerging class of porous nanomaterials is likely to revolutionize traditional drug delivery and storage systems in the future. However, an immediate obstacle hindering the practical use of nanoMOFs is the lack of innovative synthetic approaches for the development of desired nanoMOFs with synergistic tumor therapies, such as chemo-starving therapy, Fenton-starving therapy, photodynamic-photothermal therapy, etc. Recent advances in the fields of synthetic biochemistry and nanotechnology provide a powerful tool for the precise design, synthesis and structural regulation of uniform nanoMOFs with structure-orientated functions. Bioengineering the surface of nanoMOFs via post-synthesis incorporation can further improve their biostability and biocompatibility. In this topic, we aim to cover recent advances to the fundamental biochemistry of nanoMOFs and derivative materials and explore potential applications of MOF based biomaterials in the emerging field of nanomedicine.

This Research Topic welcomes the submission of Original Research Papers, Reviews, and Perspectives that focus on promising and novel research outcomes in the synthesis, functionalization, characterization, and application of MOF based biomaterials for nanomedicine. Submissions may cover the themes including, but not limited to:

• Novel synthetic protocols of nanoMOFs and exploration of their potential applications in nanomedicine;
• Recent developments of nanoMOFs and their derivatives with bioengineered surfaces;
• Elaborate fabrication of nanoMOFs with synergistic therapy effects;
• MOF-based ‘smart’ delivery of drugs.


Keywords: MOFs, Bioengineering, Nanomedicine, Functionalization, Combined treatment


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The past decade has witnessed the revolutionary impact of nanotechnology on modern nanomedicine, which offers numerous exciting possibilities in healthcare by utilizing the unique properties of nanosystems that often differ in terms of physio-chemical or biological properties from their analog at a bigger scale for diagnosis, delivery, sensing or actuation purposes in healthcare. Advanced nanosystems are able to alleviate many of the pitfalls associated with free drug therapeutics, improve the efficacy of conventional drugs, minimize side effects and increase patient compliance. Because nanomedicines are exposed to complex interactions with the components of the biological environment upon administration, the particle size, shape, surface chemistry and morphology are critical factors determining the performance and interaction potential of nanomedicines with the surrounding media.

Among various nanosystems, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) made of organic ligands and metal ions offer a powerful platform for wide applications ranging from gas capture and storage to catalysis, owing to their high surface area, tunable structural features and pore sizes, easy synthesis, high versatile composition, and high chemical/thermal stability. In particular, nanometric MOFs (nanoMOFs) for nanomedicine are gaining tremendous attention and this emerging class of porous nanomaterials is likely to revolutionize traditional drug delivery and storage systems in the future. However, an immediate obstacle hindering the practical use of nanoMOFs is the lack of innovative synthetic approaches for the development of desired nanoMOFs with synergistic tumor therapies, such as chemo-starving therapy, Fenton-starving therapy, photodynamic-photothermal therapy, etc. Recent advances in the fields of synthetic biochemistry and nanotechnology provide a powerful tool for the precise design, synthesis and structural regulation of uniform nanoMOFs with structure-orientated functions. Bioengineering the surface of nanoMOFs via post-synthesis incorporation can further improve their biostability and biocompatibility. In this topic, we aim to cover recent advances to the fundamental biochemistry of nanoMOFs and derivative materials and explore potential applications of MOF based biomaterials in the emerging field of nanomedicine.

This Research Topic welcomes the submission of Original Research Papers, Reviews, and Perspectives that focus on promising and novel research outcomes in the synthesis, functionalization, characterization, and application of MOF based biomaterials for nanomedicine. Submissions may cover the themes including, but not limited to:

• Novel synthetic protocols of nanoMOFs and exploration of their potential applications in nanomedicine;
• Recent developments of nanoMOFs and their derivatives with bioengineered surfaces;
• Elaborate fabrication of nanoMOFs with synergistic therapy effects;
• MOF-based ‘smart’ delivery of drugs.


Keywords: MOFs, Bioengineering, Nanomedicine, Functionalization, Combined treatment


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 August 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 August 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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