Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework-8 as pH-Sensitive Nanocarrier for "Arsenic Trioxide" Drug Delivery

Chemistry. 2019 Oct 11;25(57):13189-13196. doi: 10.1002/chem.201902599. Epub 2019 Sep 13.


Previous results revealed that arsenic trioxide might be used as promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of some solid tumours as atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumours (ATRT). However, in order to become an approved drug for solid tumour treatment, the active formulation has to get more efficient and feasible-but at the same time less toxic. One of the possibilities to achieve this dichotomy is to use nanomedicine tools. Herein, we report on the Zn-based metal-organic framework ZIF-8 (Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework-8) which turned out to be a promising candidate for the delivery of AsIII species. It conjointly features a high drug loading capacity and a prominent pH-triggered release behaviour. AsIII -loaded ZIF-8 nanoparticles coated and non-coated with polyethylene glycol were studied by XRPD, IR, Raman, TGA, TEM, EDX, CHN-elemental analysis, sorption analysis and ICP-OES, and their cytotoxicity was evaluated in vitro.

Keywords: arsenic; cancer; drug delivery; metal-organic frameworks; nanoparticle.

MeSH terms

  • Arsenic Trioxide / chemistry*
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Polyethylene Glycols / chemistry*
  • Zeolites / chemistry*


  • Zeolites
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Arsenic Trioxide