Nucleic Acid–Metal Organic Framework (MOF) Nanoparticle Conjugates

Nanoparticles of a metal–organic framework (MOF), UiO-66-N3 (Zr6O4OH4(C8H3O4–N3)6), were synthesized. The surface of the MOF was covalently functionalized with oligonucleotides, utilizing a strain promoted click reaction between DNA appended with dibenzyl­cyclo­octyne and azide-functionalized UiO-66-N3 to create the first MOF nanoparticle–nucleic acid conjugates. The structure of the framework was preserved throughout the chemical transformation, and the surface coverage of DNA was quantified. Due to the small pore sizes, the particles are only modified on their surfaces. When dispersed in aqueous NaCl, they exhibit increased stability and enhanced cellular uptake when compared with unfunctionalized MOF particles of comparable size.