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Metal–organic frameworks at the biointerface: synthetic strategies and applications

Metal–organic frameworks at the biointerface: synthetic strategies and applications
Metal–organic frameworks at the biointerface: synthetic strategies and applications
Many living organisms are capable of producing inorganic materials of precisely controlled structure and morphology. This ubiquitous process is termed biomineralization and is observed in nature from the macroscale (e.g., formation of exoskeletons) down to the nanoscale (e.g., mineral storage and transportation in proteins). Extensive research efforts have pursued replicating this chemistry with the overarching aims of synthesizing new materials of unprecedented physical properties and understanding the complex mechanisms that occur at the biological–inorganic interface.

Recently, we demonstrated that a class of porous materials termed metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) can spontaneously form on protein-based hydrogels via a process analogous to natural matrix-mediated biomineralization. Subsequently, this strategy was extended to functional biomacromolecules, including proteins and DNA, which have been shown to seed and accelerate crystallization of MOFs. Alternative strategies exploit co-precipitating agents such as polymers to induce MOF particle formation thus facilitating protein encapsulation within the porous crystals. In these examples the rigid molecular architecture of the MOF was found to form a protective coating around the biomacromolecule offering improved stability to external environments that would normally lead to its degradation. In this way, the MOF shell mimics the protective function of a biomineralized exoskeleton. Other methodologies have also been explored to encapsulate enzymes within MOF structures, including the fabrication of polycrystalline hollow MOF microcapsules that preserve the original enzyme functionality over several batch reaction cycles. The potential to design MOFs of varied pore size and chemical functionality has underpinned studies describing the postsynthesis infiltration of enzymes into MOF pore networks and bioconjugation strategies for the decoration of the MOF outer surface, respectively. These methods and configurations allow for customized biocomposites.

MOF biocomposites have been extended from simple proteins to complex biological systems including viruses, living yeast cells, and bacteria. Indeed, a noteworthy result was that cells encapsulated within a crystalline MOF shell remain viable after exposure to a medium containing lytic enzymes. Furthermore, the cells can adsorb nutrients (glucose) through the MOF shell but cease reproducing until the MOF casing is removed, at which point normal cellular activity is fully restored.

The field of MOF biocomposites is expansive and rapidly developing toward different applied research fields including protection and delivery of biopharmaceuticals, biosensing, biocatalysis, biobanking, and cell and virus manipulation. This Account describes the current progress of MOFs toward biotechnological applications highlighting the different strategies for the preparation of biocomposites, the developmental milestones, the challenges, and the potential impact of MOFs to the field.
0001-4842
1423-1432
Doonan, Christian J.
d722193c-f47b-45a5-845f-8f82b2d7e2d3
Ricco, Raffaele
fbc19581-fbec-40f8-b01b-88a7538d5b16
Liang, Kang
13c15cdf-5860-451f-8041-3cf5df3852b9
Bradshaw, Darren
7677b11e-1961-447e-b9ba-4847a74bd4dd
Falcaro, Paolo
c9c18d02-ffc7-4f17-8090-4efbac2dcf10
Doonan, Christian J.
d722193c-f47b-45a5-845f-8f82b2d7e2d3
Ricco, Raffaele
fbc19581-fbec-40f8-b01b-88a7538d5b16
Liang, Kang
13c15cdf-5860-451f-8041-3cf5df3852b9
Bradshaw, Darren
7677b11e-1961-447e-b9ba-4847a74bd4dd
Falcaro, Paolo
c9c18d02-ffc7-4f17-8090-4efbac2dcf10

Doonan, Christian J., Ricco, Raffaele, Liang, Kang, Bradshaw, Darren and Falcaro, Paolo (2017) Metal–organic frameworks at the biointerface: synthetic strategies and applications. Accounts of Chemical Research, 50 (6), 1423-1432. (doi:10.1021/acs.accounts.7b00090).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Many living organisms are capable of producing inorganic materials of precisely controlled structure and morphology. This ubiquitous process is termed biomineralization and is observed in nature from the macroscale (e.g., formation of exoskeletons) down to the nanoscale (e.g., mineral storage and transportation in proteins). Extensive research efforts have pursued replicating this chemistry with the overarching aims of synthesizing new materials of unprecedented physical properties and understanding the complex mechanisms that occur at the biological–inorganic interface.

Recently, we demonstrated that a class of porous materials termed metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) can spontaneously form on protein-based hydrogels via a process analogous to natural matrix-mediated biomineralization. Subsequently, this strategy was extended to functional biomacromolecules, including proteins and DNA, which have been shown to seed and accelerate crystallization of MOFs. Alternative strategies exploit co-precipitating agents such as polymers to induce MOF particle formation thus facilitating protein encapsulation within the porous crystals. In these examples the rigid molecular architecture of the MOF was found to form a protective coating around the biomacromolecule offering improved stability to external environments that would normally lead to its degradation. In this way, the MOF shell mimics the protective function of a biomineralized exoskeleton. Other methodologies have also been explored to encapsulate enzymes within MOF structures, including the fabrication of polycrystalline hollow MOF microcapsules that preserve the original enzyme functionality over several batch reaction cycles. The potential to design MOFs of varied pore size and chemical functionality has underpinned studies describing the postsynthesis infiltration of enzymes into MOF pore networks and bioconjugation strategies for the decoration of the MOF outer surface, respectively. These methods and configurations allow for customized biocomposites.

MOF biocomposites have been extended from simple proteins to complex biological systems including viruses, living yeast cells, and bacteria. Indeed, a noteworthy result was that cells encapsulated within a crystalline MOF shell remain viable after exposure to a medium containing lytic enzymes. Furthermore, the cells can adsorb nutrients (glucose) through the MOF shell but cease reproducing until the MOF casing is removed, at which point normal cellular activity is fully restored.

The field of MOF biocomposites is expansive and rapidly developing toward different applied research fields including protection and delivery of biopharmaceuticals, biosensing, biocatalysis, biobanking, and cell and virus manipulation. This Account describes the current progress of MOFs toward biotechnological applications highlighting the different strategies for the preparation of biocomposites, the developmental milestones, the challenges, and the potential impact of MOFs to the field.

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ACR-Doonan_2017-revised_OK - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 3 May 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 10 May 2017
Organisations: FIMS

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 410244
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/410244
ISSN: 0001-4842
PURE UUID: d0943f60-ee5e-4c2d-806f-0f565bae09ca
ORCID for Darren Bradshaw: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5258-6224

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Date deposited: 06 Jun 2017 04:02
Last modified: 17 Sep 2019 04:51

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