PU study: MOFs efficient nanocarriers for targeted drug delivery

A research carried out at Panjab University (PU) has revealed that the metal-organic frameworks (MOF)…

A research carried out at Panjab University (PU) has revealed that the metal-organic frameworks (MOF) class of materials are efficient nanocarriers for targeted drug delivery in the human body

A research carried out at Panjab University (PU) has revealed that the metal-organic frameworks (MOF) class of materials are efficient nanocarriers for targeted drug delivery in the human body.

Nanocarriers are nanoparticles that carry medicinal drugs to targeted sites in the body while minimising damage to the surrounding tissue. The study has been conducted by professor Dr Sanjeev Gautam and a master’s student, Juhi Singhal, at Dr SS Bhatnagar University Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology (UICET). It has been recently published in an international journal, “Materials Today Chemistry” (2020 impact factor =8.301).

Magnetic target drug delivery acts as an efficient method for carrying a drug directly to an organ or targeted location in the body by incorporating magnetically vulnerable material coated with a drug-laden matrix. Magnetic nanoparticles of MOF act as a drug carrier by targeting the treatment location without affecting the other healthy cells. MOFs, also known as porous coordination polymers (PCPs), are an emerging class of microporous materials consisting of metal clusters linked by polyfunctional organic linkers yielding three-dimensional porous networks.

In this study, a metal-organic framework developed by Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has been used as a nanocarrier for drug delivery. The adsorption of the drug and releasing mechanism development are the major part of this research, including the electronic structure investigation of the drug delivery mechanism using synchrotron radiation research.

The drug delivery application was carried out for HKUST-1 samples to check its versatility in daily use. Paracetamol was chosen as a model drug for the delivery. Further, solutions of concentrations up to 100 ppm were prepared by dissolving paracetamol in distilled water and were then calibrated at different concentration (ppm) levels. The drug delivery experiment was optimised using HKUST1 samples (synthesised for 10 and 48 hours) and calibrated 3.5 ppm of paracetamol (drug) solution by executing a comparative study.

Sanjeev Gautam said, “The targeted drug delivery is a future technology for medicine delivery to specific cells without affecting the healthy cells. We found that the MOFs are efficient for this purpose and can be easily synthesised as compared to other nanostructured materials used as drug delivery vehicles presently.”

He said that he has planned a future research project in this area and is collaborating with professors Rajat Sandhir (biochemistry) and Navdeep Goyal (physics) along with experts from PGIMER in his subsequent research in this area.

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