Metal-Organic Frameworks as drug delivery systems: The case of IRMOF-74-III and gemcitabine studied by MD simulations
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A multiscale computational study is reported that investigates the microscopic behavior of the anti-cancer drug gemcitabine (GEM) stored in metal organic frameworks IRMOF-74-III and the functionalized OH-IRMOF-74-III. Accurate Quantum Mechanics calculations indicate that the GEM-MOF interaction energy in both host structures is suitable for drug adsorption and delivery with a slow release. Based on Grand-Canonical Monte Carlo simulations, the predicted maximum loading of GEM is three-fold greater than in lipid-coated mesoporous silica nanoparticles and similar to liposome nanocarriers. Finally, Molecular Dynamics simulations reveal slow diffusion of GEM inside the pores of both hosts, which is crucial for the controlled release of GEM. This work unravels the energetics and dynamics of GEM in MOFs and highlights the ability of the biocompatible (OH)-IRMOF-74-III to be used as a promising nano encapsulator for GEM delivery.