Dynamic Hydrogen-Bonded Zinc Adeninate Framework (ZAF) for Immobilization of Catalytic DNA

Walaa S. Baslyman, Othman Alahmed, Santanu Chand, Somayah Qutub, Niveen M. Khashab*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Effective immobilization and delivery of genetic materials is at the forefront of biological and medical research directed toward tackling scientific challenges such as gene therapy and cancer treatment. Herein we present a biologically inspired hydrogen-bonded zinc adeninate framework (ZAF) consisting of zinc adeninate macrocycles that self-assemble into a 3D framework through adenine-adenine interactions. ZAF can efficiently immobilize DNAzyme with full protection against enzyme degradation and physiological conditions until it is successfully delivered into the nucleus. As compared to zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIFs), ZAFs are twofold more biocompatible with a significant loading efficiency of 96 %. Overall, our design paves the way for expanding functional hydrogen-bonding-based systems as potential platforms for the loading and delivery of biologics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere202302840
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number25
StatePublished - Jun 19 2023


  • Gene Delivery
  • Hydrogen-Bonded Organic Frameworks
  • Immobilization
  • Self-Assembly
  • Zeolitic Framework

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry


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