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Writing Program for Drugs Release:A method was developed to program the release of single or multiple drug molecules by Hexiang Deng’s Group in Wuhan University, featured on JACS


It has been a dream for patients that only one magic pill is needed to cure their diseases. This might not be as unrealistic as it sounds due to the fast development in new drug release systems.

Generally, the dynamic of drug release is determined by the host-guest interactions between drug molecules and the carrier materials. The activation energy that quantifying the host-guest interaction was usually discrete, thus release profiles of the drug molecules were hardly controllable in a precise manner. A new article was published online on Sep. 15th on JACS (Journal of the American Chemical Society) with the title ‘Multivariate Metal-Organic Frameworks for Dialing-in the Binding and Programming the Release of Drug molecules’ (DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b07392). In this report, researchers from Wuhan University applied MOFs carrying multiple functional groups (MTV-MOFs) as new carriers to dial-in the right host-guest energy and achieved precise tuning of drug delivery.

The combination of functional groups can be varied and their ratios can be continuously tuned without altering the underlying topology of these porous materials, well-known for their tremendous surface area. Thus the drug release rate can be adjusted continuously over a wide range (regulatory amplitude up to 32 fold). Taking the release of anti-cancer drug DOX as example, the time of maximum release amount can be tuned between 17th and 29th day. In addition, the host-guest interaction was also correlated with an activation energy that quantified by the release profile of drug molecule, such quantification approach can also be applied to other weak interaction between materials and guest molecules such as static electricity, hydrogen bond, π-π interaction and Van der Waals force. It is noteworthy that this method not only works on single drug molecules, but also applicable for the delivery of multiple drugs, to tend to the actual need of patients in a programmable way. These MTV-MOFs also provide a new direction to achieve individualized and customized medical therapy.

The research team in College of Chmistry & Molecular Sciences of Wuhan University, China, was led by Prof. Hexiang Deng in collaboration with his colleague Prof. Xianzheng Zhang. Zhiyue Dong is its first author, the other authors, Yangzesheng Sun and Jun Chu also made significant contributions. This research was supported by the 1000 Talent Plan of China, National Natural Science Foundation of China (21471118, 91545205, 91622103), National Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province of China (ZXG201446, BK20140410), National Key Basic Research Program of China (2014CB239203), Key Program of Hubei Provence (2015CFA126) and Innovation Team of Wuhan University (2042017kf0232). 

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