Optimization of the Synthesis and Radiolabeling of ZIF-8 Nanoparticles

Background: Lately, there has been increasing interest in the benefits of metal-organic frameworks, and among them, zeolitic imidazolate frameworks (ZIF - 8) stand out as one of the most commonly employed systems owing to their unique characteristics. Objectives: Given that properties like particle size play a key role in biomedical applications of nanoparticles, optimizing the synthesis conditions becomes crucial. Additionally, it is essential to label these nanoparticles to track them effectively within the body. Methods: Zeolitic imidazolate frameworks nanoparticles were synthesized under various conditions, including high and room temperature, using two different solvents: Water and methanol. Modifications were made to the reaction temperature and the ratio of reactants to improve the outcomes. Particle size and size distribution were assessed in all conditions. Additionally, the radiolabeling of nanoparticles was examined using four different methods to identify the method with the highest efficiency and radiochemical purity. Results: The optimum conditions for ZIF-8 synthesis were determined at 50°C using methanol as the solvent. A reactant weight ratio of 1: 2 (zinc nitrate to 2-methylimidazole) was utilized. The most effective radiolabeling approach involved using tin chloride as a reducing agent, with the reaction mixture maintained at a temperature of 70°C for 30 minutes. Conclusions: In this study, the optimum conditions were successfully identified for synthesizing and labeling ZIF-8 nanoparticles. These nanoparticles have the potential to serve as effective carriers for diagnostic and therapeutic agents.