Cancer remains hard to treat, partially due to the non-specificity of chemotherapeutics. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are promising carriers for targeted chemotherapy, yet, to date, there have been few detailed studies to systematically enhance drug loading while maintaining controlled release. In this work, we investigate which molecular simulation methods best capture the experimental uptake and release of cisplatin from UiO-66 and UiO-66(NH2). We then screen a series of biocompatible, pH-sensitive zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs) for their ability to retain cisplatin in healthy parts of the patient and release it in the vicinity of a tumor. Pure-component GCMC simulations show that the maximum cisplatin loading depends on the pore volume. To achieve this maximum loading in the presence of water, either the pore size needs to be large enough to occupy both cisplatin and its solvation shell or the MOF-cisplatin interaction must be more favorable than the cisplatin-shell interaction. Both solvated and non-solvated simulations show that cisplatin release rates can be controlled by either decreasing the pore limiting diameters or by manipulating framework-cisplatin interaction energies to create strong, dispersed adsorption sites. The latter method is preferable if cisplatin loading is performed from solution into a pre-synthesized framework as weak interaction energies and small pore window diameters will hinder cisplatin uptake. Here, ZIF-82 is most promising. If it is possible to load cisplatin during crystallization, ZIF-11 would outcompete the other MOFs screened as cisplatin cannot pass through its pore windows; therefore, release rates would be purely driven by the pH triggered framework degradation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry