Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

'Chemical architects' build materials with potential applications in drug delivery and gas storage

18.06.2013
Home remodelers understand the concept of improving original foundations with more modern elements.

Using this same approach—but with chemistry—researchers in the University of Pittsburgh's Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences have designed a family of materials that could make drug delivery, gas storage, and gas transport more efficient and at a lower cost. The findings were reported in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS).

The recent work builds upon Pitt Associate Professor of Chemistry Nathaniel Rosi's earlier research published last year in Nature Communications detailing a new class of metal-organic frameworks—crystalline compounds consisting of metal vertices and organic linkers that form porous structures. Last year, Rosi and his team created one of the most porous materials known at the time by changing the size of the vertex (the metal cluster) rather than the length of the organic linkers. Now, in JACS, he and his team have extended those linkers, demonstrating a family of materials even more porous—a property necessary for more efficient gas storage.

"We like to think of ourselves as chemical architects," said Rosi, principal investigator of the project. "Our approach always starts with thinking about structure and, in particular, how we can design and manipulate structure. Here, we demonstrate one of the most porous families of metal-organic frameworks known."

Rosi likens his work to that of a builder remodeling a child's chair. As the child grows taller, the legs of the chair become too short. Because the owner likes the structure and integrity of the chair, the owner decides to lengthen its legs instead of purchasing a new one. This is what Rosi and his team have done with their frameworks: they have used one material as a structural blueprint and replaced another element (the organic linkers) to prepare more porous materials.

In addition to their utility for gas storage, these porous materials could be critical for low-cost industrial separations—when one molecule is separated from another batch of molecules for purification purposes. The petrochemical industry has numerous high-value (and high-cost) separations used to isolate important chemicals involved with oil refining. Some of these separations could benefit from the use of porous materials as filters, said Rosi. Likewise, he notes that the pore size for his class of materials would be particularly useful for separating nanoparticles. Porosity also can affect the efficiency of pharmaceutical delivery into the human body.

An important metric for evaluating the porosity of a material is its pore volume. In Rosi's demonstration, three of these materials have pore volumes exceeding 4 cubic centimeters per gram (cc/g). For perspective, only one other metal-organic framework has a pore volume above this amount, with most others having volumes below 3 cc/g.

"Pore volume is a measure of how empty or vacant a material is—how much space in the material isn't filled," said Rosi. "When the pore openings are large, and the pore volume is large, it opens up the possibility of using the material as a scaffold to precisely organize and position biomolecules or nanoparticles in space."

Rosi and his team are currently investigating high-porous and low-density materials to be used as scaffolds for organizing large molecules and nanoparticles into functional materials.

Rosi's team members include Tao Li, a Pitt graduate student studying chemistry and the lead researcher on the project, along with Pitt undergraduate chemistry students Mark T. Kozlowski and Evan A. Doud, and Chatham University chemistry undergraduate student Maike N. Blakely.

The paper, "Stepwise Ligand Exchange for the Preparation of a Family of Mesoporous MOFs," was first published online May 20 in JACS. A portion of the work was performed with funding from the National Energy Technology Laboratory's Regional University Alliance (NETL-RUA), a collaborative initiative of NETL. The authors also credit Pitt's Petersen Institute for Nanoscience and Engineering and the Swanson School of Engineering's Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science for the use of their instruments.

B. Rose Huber | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.pitt.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>