RSC Publishing's Chemical Communications Blog has an attractive little story about drug-filled nanomagnets inside metal organic frameworks (MOFs). The MOF magnets can be filled with a drug, which is released when a magnetic field is applied.
According to the article, Stefan Kaskel of the Technical University of Dresden and colleagues made the MOF magnets by integrating superparamagnetic iron oxide particles into carboxylate MOFs. "Carboxylate molecules stabilise and activate the nanoparticles," team member Martin Lohe said. The researchers then loaded their MOF with ibuprofen and found that they were able to trigger and control its release by simply applying an external magnetic field. The magnetic field heats the magnets in the MOF, which causes the load to burst from the framework.
As usual, though, before the MOF magnets can be used in the human body, toxicity tests will need to be done. Still experts are hopeful.
"The particles will certainly increase the possibility of using nanoMOFs for drug delivery applications in the near future," Christian Serre, an expert in porous solids from the University of Versailles in France told the blog, "and they'll add a new tool to the emerging domain of MOFs in biomedicine."