Engineered cyclodextrin derivatives for spontaneous coating of highly porous metal-organic framework nanoparticles

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Nanosized metal-organic frameworks (nanoMOFs) MIL-100(Fe) are highly porous and biodegradable materials that have emerged as promising drug nanocarriers. A challenging issue concerns their surface functionalization in order to evade the immune system and to provide molecular recognition ability, so that they can be used for specific targeting. A convenient method for their coating with tetraethylene glycol, polyethylene glycol, and mannose residues is reported herein. The method consists of the organic solvent-free self-assembly on the nanoMOFs of building blocks based on β-cyclodextrin facially derivatized with the referred functional moieties, and multiple phosphate groups to anchor to the nanoparticles’ surface. The coating of nanoMOFs with cyclodextrin phosphate without further functional groups led to a significant decrease of macrophage uptake, slightly improved by polyethylene glycol or mannose-containing cyclodextrin phosphate coating. More notably, nanoMOFs modified with tetraethylene glycol-containing cyclodextrin phosphate displayed the most efficient “stealth” effect. Mannose-coated nanoMOFs displayed a remarkably enhanced binding affinity towards a specific mannose receptor, such as Concanavalin A, due to the multivalent display of the monosaccharide, as well as reduced macrophage internalization. Coating with tetraethylene glycol of nanoMOFs after loading with doxorubicin is also described. Therefore, phosphorylated cyclodextrins offer a versatile platform to coat nanoMOFs in an organic solvent-free, one step manner, providing them with new biorecognition and/or “stealth” properties.


Cutrone, G., Li, X., Casas-Solvas, J.M., Menendez.Miranda, M., Qiu, J., Benkovics, G., Constantin, D., Malanga, M., Moreira-Alvarez, B., Costa-Fernandez, J.M., Garcia-Fuentes, L., Gref, R., Vargas-Berenguel, A. (2019) Design of engineered cyclodextrin derivatives for spontaneous coating of highly porous metal-organic framework nanoparticles in aqueous media. Nanomaterials 9(8),1103

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