Positioning metal-organic framework nanoparticles within the context of drug delivery - A comparison with mesoporous silica nanoparticles and dendrimers

Biomaterials. 2017 Apr;123:172-183. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2017.01.025. Epub 2017 Jan 30.


Nanotechnology enables the creation of delivery vehicles able to overcome physiologically imposed barriers, allowing new approaches for reducing the unwanted side effects of systemic delivery of drug, increasing targeting efficiency and so improving therapy efficacy. Owing to the considerable advances in material sciences and pharmaceutics, a broad range of different inorganic or organic drug nanocarriers have been developed. Furthermore, researchers have shown that the combination of inorganic and organic chemistries in one single material, named metal-organic framework (MOF), offers structural designability at the molecular level together with tunable porosity and chemical functionalisability. While the MOF size can be controlled at the nanometer scale, these features are of paramount interest in the development of the next generation of drug delivery systems. After a short state-of-the-art about MOF technology and within the drug delivery context, this paper discusses the benefits of using MOF nanoparticles compared to dendrimers and mesoporous silica nanoparticles in order to understand the challenges that must still be overcome.

Keywords: Dendrimer; Drug delivery; Mesoporous silica; Metal-organic framework; Nanocarrier.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorption, Physicochemical
  • Dendrimers / chemistry*
  • Diffusion
  • Metal-Organic Frameworks / chemistry*
  • Metal-Organic Frameworks / ultrastructure
  • Nanocapsules / chemistry*
  • Nanocapsules / ultrastructure*
  • Nanopores / ultrastructure*
  • Particle Size
  • Porosity
  • Silicon Dioxide / chemistry*


  • Dendrimers
  • Metal-Organic Frameworks
  • Nanocapsules
  • Silicon Dioxide