Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Cell & Molecular Biology (PhD)

Degree Level



Biological Sciences


Jorge Almodovar

Committee Member

Bob Beitle

Second Committee Member

Chenguan Fan

Third Committee Member

Mahmoud Moradi

Fourth Committee Member

Jack Lay


Drug Delivery, Encapsulation, Metal-organic Framework


Metal-organic frameworks or MOFs are an extremely useful tool in many areas of applications. Their popularity in recent years has arisen from their high efficiency in catalytic chemical reactions. This is made possible due to their porous interior and the ability of the MOFs components to be functionalized. These same traits make MOFs excellent for use in protein encapsulation or immobilization and have the potential to become excellent drug carriers. Their development in this utilization has been limited dramatically compared to MOFs chemical applications. This is due in part to the nature of biological processes taking longer to study, but it is also in part due to a lack of understanding in how biological materials interact with these nanoparticles. In order for the development of biological applications with MOFs to continue, these interactions must be further understood through research. In this compilation of our work, we seek to push the boundaries of conventional understanding in our field by studying the interaction between MOFs and biological materials such as proteins and drugs. In doing so, we report our findings and show that protein loading can possibly be improved, enzyme reactions can be improved outside of normal conditions, cell signaling proteins can be delivered successfully to cells and illicit a cellular response, and MOF particles can be effectively used as a delivery device to provide sustained and controlled release of both guest particles and drugs conjugated to the exterior of the MOF particle.