Organic-inorganic hybrids or metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are very popular in the materials chemistry world. These hybrids display mixed organic-inorganic behaviours, resulting from synergy of purely organic or purely inorganic features. They are made up of metal ions interconnected by organic linker molecules giving rise to two- or three-dimensional structures.
templating nature of Polyoxometalates
Polyoxometalates (POMs) are hydrated transition metal clusters with discrete metal-oxygen bonds around a central ion ([HxXM12O40-3], with X=Si4+ or P5+, M=Mo6+ or W6+). They have well defined topologies with intriguing physical and chemical properties and an astounding range of redox transformations with wide range of application in homogeneous catalysis. Immobilization of POMs in the pores of MOFs leads to new materials which easily can be structured for application in catalysis, luminescence and ionic conductivity etc, but especially solves the problem of leaching of the highly active POM from the material. Currently, our research group is interested in exploring new possibilites to build MOFs based on similar principles.
Stimulus response materials for controlled release
Maintaining tight control over the amount of drug released as-and-when needed by the human body is a long-standing challenge for drug delivery research. Generally, traditional drugs when administered, travel in the blood stream in high concentrations to reach the target site at likely more than necessary concentration levels. This could cause unwanted side effects from the drug, causing non-specific damage to healthy tissues, including the heart, nervous system and the kidneys. We aim to utilize our expertise in porous materials to synthesize smart, biodegradable stimuli-responsive carrier materials for modulated drug release.