Theranostics 2019; 9(11):3134-3149. doi:10.7150/thno.33539 This issue


Metal-Organic Framework Nanoparticle-Based Biomineralization: A New Strategy toward Cancer Treatment

Chengchao Chu1#, Min Su2#, Jing Zhu1#, Dongsheng Li1, Hongwei Cheng1, Xiaoyuan Chen3, Gang Liu1,2✉

1. State Key Laboratory of Molecular Vaccinology and Molecular Diagnostics & Center for Molecular Imaging and Translational Medicine, School of Public Health Xiamen, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361102, China
2. State Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces & The MOE Key Laboratory of Spectrochemical Analysis & Instrumentation, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
3. Laboratory of Molecular Imaging and Nanomedicine, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
# These authors contributed equally to this work.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) license ( See for full terms and conditions.
Chu C, Su M, Zhu J, Li D, Cheng H, Chen X, Liu G. Metal-Organic Framework Nanoparticle-Based Biomineralization: A New Strategy toward Cancer Treatment. Theranostics 2019; 9(11):3134-3149. doi:10.7150/thno.33539. Available from

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Graphic abstract

Cancer treatment using functional proteins, DNA/RNA, or complex bio-entities is important in both preclinical and clinical studies. With the help of nano-delivery systems, these biomacromolecules can enrich cancer tissues to match the clinical requirements. Biomineralization via a self-assembly process has been widely applied to provide biomacromolecules exoskeletal-like protection for immune shielding and preservation of bioactivity. Advanced metal-organic framework nanoparticles (MOFs) are excellent supporting matrices due to the low toxicity of polycarboxylic acids and metals, high encapsulation efficiency, and moderate synthetic conditions. In this review, we study MOFs-based biomineralization for cancer treatment and summarize the unique properties of MOF hybrids. We also evaluate the outlook of potential cancer treatment applications for MOFs-based biomineralization. This strategy likely opens new research orientations for cancer theranostics.

Keywords: metal-organic framework, biomineralization, cancer treatment, theranostics