Synthesis of a biocompatible nanoporous zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 in the presence of Gum Arabic inspired by the biomineralization process†
Here, by inspiration from the natural biomineralization process, the one-pot synthesis of a zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8, containing Zn2+ as a metal center and 2-methyl imidazole as a linker) was done in the presence of polysaccharide (Gum Arabic, GA), which enhanced its biocompatibility for application in the drug delivery systems. To the best of our knowledge, it is the first report on the synthesis of ZIF-8 in the presence of GA. The effect of some parameters such as the concentration of GA, the linker/metal molar ratio, and the water amount was investigated on the size, morphology, and crystallinity of the as-synthesized structures. The products were characterized via field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) surface area, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and UV-vis spectroscopic techniques. In addition, the standard 3-(4,5 dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay was performed on the human normal fibroblast cell line to compare the cytotoxicity of the ZIF-8 and ZIF-8–GA structures. The results showed the enhanced biocompatibility of ZIF-8–GA compared to ZIF-8 due to the presence of GA in the ZIF-8 framework.