Loading and Delivery of Biologics Using Biocompatible Nano-carriers, BioMOFs

  • Othman Alahmed

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Biologics such as DNA and protein have immense biomedical applications, especially in diagnosis and therapy. However, many barriers hinder these applications, including biologics transport and liability in biological systems. Therefore, biocompatible and stable nanocarriers with high Biologics loading efficiency can provide a platform for advances in biologics applications. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have gained significant interest within the biomedical field, mainly because of their building block versatility, porosity, stability, and chemical and biological functionality. Currently, increasing research is dedicated to improving MOFs biocompatibility, stability, and functionality for drug delivery. Using biomolecules as organic linkers could improve biocompatibility, physiological condition stability, and biological functionality. The main goal of this dissertation is to investigate the applicability of biomolecule-based Metal-organic frameworks (BioMOFs) as nanocarriers to achieve cellular delivery of active biologics. Herein, we analyzed adenine and saccharate metal−organic frameworks (BioMOF) in terms of biocompatibility, loading capability, protection, and cellular delivery of biologics. Our findings suggest that the usage of biomolecules as an organic linker generates BioMOFs with reduced cytotoxicity compared with the widely used MOFs such as Zinc Imidazole framework-8 (ZIF-8). In addition, the base-pairing functionality of coordinated adenine of KAUST-BioMOFs (KBMs) is preserved and can be used to load ssDNA. Both KAUST-BioMOFs (KBMs) and Zinc adenineated framework (ZAF) load, protect, and deliver functional ssDNA to cells. In addition, we showed the possibility of in situ encapsulation of active lysozyme in zinc saccharate (Zn-Sac) with modified synthesis procedures.
Date of AwardJun 28 2022
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorNiveen Khashab (Supervisor)


  • Delivery
  • Biologics
  • Nanocarriers
  • MOFS

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