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Endocytosis Mechanism of Nano Metal-Organic Frameworks for Drug Delivery.

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Orellana-Tavra, Claudia 
Mercado, Sergio A 
Fairen-Jimenez, David 


The pathway of internalization and final fate of a specific metal-organic framework (MOF) in cells has been investigated for the first time. This study is based on two calcein-loaded UiO-66 samples with particle sizes of 150 and 260 nm (i.e., cal@150 UiO-66 and cal@260 UiO-66, respectively), and shows that the active trafficking of cal@150 UiO-66 is done almost exclusively through clathrin-mediated endocytosis, whereas the uptake of cal@260 UiO-66 is a combination of both clathrin and caveolae-mediated endocytosis. Colocalization studies with a lysosomal marker showed that cal@150 UiO-66 is located mostly in lysosomes for further degradation, whereas cal@260 UiO-66 seems to avoid the lysosomal degradation and potentially deliver the cargo molecules in the cytosol, allowing their distribution to different cellular organelles. This study reveals the importance of the internalization processes of MOFs, particularly the relevance of their particle size, and also the critical significance of their final fate to become an efficient drug delivery system. Based on these results, it is possible that extremely small particle-sized MOFs are not the most efficient carriers and instead relatively medium-sized particles are required.



drug delivery, endocytosis, metal-organic frameworks, nanoparticles, Coated Materials, Biocompatible, Drug Delivery Systems, Endocytosis, Fluoresceins, HeLa Cells, Humans, Lysosomes, Nanoparticles, Organometallic Compounds

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Adv Healthc Mater

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C.A.O. and S.M. thank Becas Chile and the Cambridge Trust for funding. D.F.-J. thanks the Royal Society (UK) for funding through a University Research Fellowship.