Optimized synthesis and crystalline stability of γ-cyclodextrin metal-organic frameworks for drug adsorption

Botao Liu, Haiyan Li, Xiaonan Xu, Xue Li, Nana Lv, Vikramjeet Singh, J. Fraser Stoddart, Peter York, Xu Xu, Ruxandra Gref, Jiwen Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


The biocompatible and renewable cyclodextrin metal-organic frameworks (CD-MOFs) have addressed a range of opportunities in molecular storage and separation sciences. The reported protocols for their synthesis, however, were carried out at room temperature over long time periods of time (24 h), producing crystals of relatively poor uniformity. In this investigation, micron sized γ-CD-MOFs were synthesized by an optimized vapor diffusion method at elevated temperature (50 °C) within 6 h, after which the size control, crystalline stability and drug adsorption behavior were investigated in detail. In this manner, uniform cubic γ-CD-MOF crystals were obtained when the reaction temperature was raised to 50 °C with pre-addition of the reaction solvent. The size of γ-CD-MOFs was adjusted efficiently by changing the reactant concentrations, temperatures, time, γ-CD ratios to KOH and surfactant concentrations, without influencing the porosity and crystallinity of the material markedly. Varing degrees of reduction in crystallinity and change in morphology were observed when the γ-CD-MOF crystals are treated under conditions of high temperature (100 °C), high humidity (92.5%) and polar solvents (e.g., MeOH and DMF). In relation to drug adsorption by γ-CD-MOFs, most of the drug molecules containing carboxyl groups showed relatively high adsorption (>5%), while low adsorption (<5%) was found for drugs with nitrogen-containing heterocyclic rings. In addition, the adsorption kinetics of captopril to standard γ-CD-MOFs matched a pseudo-second-order model rather well, whilst captopril adsorption to the damaged γ-CD-MOFs only partially matched the pseudo-second-order model. In summary, based upon the optimized synthesis and size control of γ-CD-MOFs, the crystalline stability and drug adsorption characteristics of γ-CD-MOF crystals have been evaluated as a fundamental requirement of a potential vehicle for drug delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-219
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • cyclodextrin-metal-organic frameworks
  • synthesis
  • crystalline stability
  • drug adsorption

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