The construction of a multifunctional metal–organic framework for targeting tumors and bioimaging†
Metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) are emerging as promising candidates for biological applications due to their unique properties, including high pore volumes and tuneable pore sizes. Although challenging to achieve, multifunctional MOFs that combine the targeting of cancer tissue with bioimaging capabilities are necessary and important to enable early diagnosis and improve the therapeutic efficacy of cancer treatment. In this work, we develop a novel one-pot approach to synthesize a tumor-targeting bioimaging system, which is realized by assembling ZIF-8 in an aqueous solution containing Fe3O4 nanoparticles, a magnetic reagent, and rhodamine B (RhB), a fluorescent reagent. Via the combination of the fluorescence of RhB and the magnetic characteristics of Fe3O4, the as-synthesized RhB/Fe3O4/ZIF-8 displays excellent magnetic resonance-fluorescence imaging abilities. Simultaneously, RhB/Fe3O4/ZIF-8 shows magnetic tumor-targeting abilities in vivo. Taken together, the RhB/Fe3O4/ZIF-8 bioimaging system shows great promise for the simultaneous targeted labeling and therapy of cancer cells.