Hollow ZIF-8 Nanoworms from Block Copolymer Templates
H. Yu, X. Qiu, P. Neelakanda, L. Deng, N. M. Khashab, S. P. Nunes, K. V. Peinemann
Scientific Reports, 5, art. no. 15275, (2015)
Recently two quite different types of “nano-containers” have been recognized as attractive potential drug carriers; these are wormlike filamenteous micelles (“filomicelles”) on the one hand and metal organic frameworks on the other hand. In this work we combine these two concepts. We report for the first time the manufacturing of metal organic framework nanotubes with a hollow core. These worm-like tubes are about 200 nm thick and several μm long. The preparation is simple: we first produce long and flexible filament-shaped micelles by block copolymer self-assembly. These filomicelles serve as templates to grow a very thin layer of interconnected ZIF-8 crystals on their surface. Finally the block copolymer is removed by solvent extraction and the hollow ZIF-8 nanotubes remain. These ZIF-NTs are surprisingly stable and withstand purification by centrifugation. The synthesis method is straightforward and can easily be applied for other metal organic framework materials. The ZIF-8 NTs exhibit high loading capacity for the model anti cancer drug doxorubicin (DOX) with a pH-triggered release. Hence, a prolonged circulation in the blood stream and a targeted drug release behavior can be expected.