Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Hiroshi Matsui

Committee Members

Mandë Holford

Michele Vittadello

Subject Categories

Materials Chemistry | Nanomedicine


superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles, metal-organic frameworks


Materials whose structure incorporates nanoscale void spaces have multiple possible uses, whether in a bulk form or as individual particles, due to the combination of high surface area ratios and nanoscale material properties. This thesis will explore a few of these possibilities, concentrating on potential biomimetic and biomedical applications, for two materials: metal- organic frameworks and superparamagnetic iron oxide nanocages.

Metal-organic frameworks consist of metal ions such as Cu2+ which have highly porous lattice structures allowing them to absorb and release guest molecules such as peptides like diphenylalanine; this stored chemical energy can be turned into kinetic energy and used to self- propel a metal-organic framework particle across an aqueous surface by creating a surface tension gradient. This motion can in turn be converted into electrical energy or guided to a target by forming a pH gradient.

Superparamagnetic iron oxide nanocages are hollow nanoparticles which have a combination of traits such as low toxicity, high surface area to mass ratio, easy chemical functionalization, and magnetic properties which are potentially useful in a drug delivery system. In particular, it will be shown that delivery using nanocages increase the chemotherapeutic effectiveness of a small molecule drug, Riluzole, in both in vitro and in vivo models. It is also the shown that superparamagnetic properties of nanocages can be used to control the release of siRNA from the nanocages, resulting in the siRNA targeted suppression of protein expression occurring only after an alternating magnetic field is applied.

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