Metal organic frameworks (MOFs) show promise as nanoscale delivery agents in biomedical applications. Zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs), a subclass of MOFs, have displayed biocompatibility and high chemical stability. ZIF-90 is of particular interest because of its linker aldehyde groups that enable covalent bonding of dyes and therapeutic agents was well as tunable particle sizes between 20-900 nm. ZIF-90 nanoparticles (NPs) were labeled with fluorescent dyes to observe diffusion characteristics in CHO-K1 cells. NPs demonstrate highly efficient delivery of imaging agents across cellular membranes. Confocal fluorescence microscopy was used to determine the amount of internalized ZIF-90 NPs, as well as particle degradation periods. Results show that over 90% of incubated NPs were internalized within cell lysosomes, remaining stable in lysosomal fluid for up to one week and for up to one month in simulated body fluid. NPs had minimal impact on the viability of cells even at exceptionally high concentrations.

Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework Nanoparticles for Imaging and Biomedical Applications

Advisor: Vitalie Stavila

Author: Christopher Jones