Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a class of highly crystalline nanoporous materials that self-assemble from inorganic metal oxide clusters and multitopic organic linkers. MOFs can be altered in terms of the types of metals and structures of organic linkers used, allowing for a high degree of customization and manipulation of the synergistic chemical or physical properties that arise from the precise coordination of their molecular components, including exceptionally large surface area and pore size. Zirconium-based MOFs, called UiOs in honor of their conception at the University of Oslo, also show remarkable chemical stability in both acidic and basic environments, making them excellent candidates for biomedical applications as drug delivery systems, where they can either function as molecular cargo ships, with drugs packed into their pores, or as controlled release systems, in which drug molecules are directly attached to their ligands for precise delivery. The objective of this work is to prepare water-stable MOFs whose linkers are decorated with functional groups that have potential compatibility in drug delivery systems and to explore the efficacy of certain synthesis conditions in terms of the crystallinity of the MOF product. Thus, we hope to establish a basis for the ligation of anticancer drugs and fluorescent tags to MOFs for their controlled release at a specified location within the body. These targeted release mechanisms represent new therapeutic possibilities in terms of cancer treatment as their specificity would mitigate damage to healthy tissues, thereby addressing one of the greatest weakness of present treatment options.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Uribe-Romo, Fernando


Borgon, Robert


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Medicine


Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences

Degree Program

Biomedical Sciences Pre-Professional



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date