Theranostics 2017; 7(18):4605-4617. doi:10.7150/thno.20363 This issue

Research Paper

Biodegradable Core-shell Dual-Metal-Organic-Frameworks Nanotheranostic Agent for Multiple Imaging Guided Combination Cancer Therapy

Dongdong Wang1*, Jiajia Zhou2*, Ruohong Shi1, Huihui Wu2, Ruhui Chen1, Beichen Duan1, Guoliang Xia1, Pengping Xu1, Hui Wang3, Shu Zhou2, Chengming Wang1, Haibao Wang4✉, Zhen Guo2✉, Qianwang Chen1, 3✉

1. Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale, Department of Materials Science & Engineering & Collaborative Innovation Center of Suzhou Nano Science and Technology, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, 230026, China;
2. Anhui Key Laboratory for Cellular Dynamics and Chemical Biology, School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, 230027, China;
3. High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Hefei Institutes of Physical Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei, 230031, China;
4. Radiology Department of the First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei, 230022, China.
* Equal contribution to this study.

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.
Wang D, Zhou J, Shi R, Wu H, Chen R, Duan B, Xia G, Xu P, Wang H, Zhou S, Wang C, Wang H, Guo Z, Chen Q. Biodegradable Core-shell Dual-Metal-Organic-Frameworks Nanotheranostic Agent for Multiple Imaging Guided Combination Cancer Therapy. Theranostics 2017; 7(18):4605-4617. doi:10.7150/thno.20363. Available from

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Graphic abstract

Metal-organic-frameworks (MOFs) possess high porosity, large surface area, and tunable functionality are promising candidates for synchronous diagnosis and therapy in cancer treatment. Although large number of MOFs has been discovered, conventional MOF-based nanoplatforms are mainly limited to the sole MOF source with sole functionality. In this study, surfactant modified Prussian blue (PB) core coated by compact ZIF-8 shell (core-shell dual-MOFs, CSD-MOFs) has been reported through a versatile stepwise approach. With Prussian blue as core, CSD-MOFs are able to serve as both magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and fluorescence optical imaging (FOI) agents. We show that CSD-MOFs crystals loading the anticancer drug doxorubicin (DOX) are efficient pH and near-infrared (NIR) dual-stimuli responsive drug delivery vehicles. After the degradation of ZIF-8, simultaneous NIR irradiation to the inner PB MOFs continuously generate heat that kill cancer cells. Their efficacy on HeLa cancer cell lines is higher compared with the respective single treatment modality, achieving synergistic chemo-thermal therapy efficacy. In vivo results indicate that the anti-tumor efficacy of CSD-MOFs@DOX+NIR was 7.16 and 5.07 times enhanced compared to single chemo-therapy and single thermal-therapy respectively. Our strategy opens new possibilities to construct multifunctional theranostic systems through integration of two different MOFs.

Keywords: MOFs, photothermal, chemotherapy, pH-responsive, NIR-responsive.