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Chemrxiv_Carraro_etal.pdf (535.92 kB)
Continuous Flow Synthesis of ZIF-8 Biocomposites with Tuneable Particle Size
Preprints are manuscripts made publicly available before they have been submitted for formal peer review and publication. They might contain new research findings or data. Preprints can be a draft or final version of an author's research but must not have been accepted for publication at the time of submission.
Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework (ZIF) biocomposites show the capacity to protect and deliver bio-therapeutics. To date, the progress in this research area is based on laboratory batch methods. To further explore the potential of ZIF-biocomposites for application to biomedicine and biotechnology, the continuous production of ZIF-biocomposites of specific particle size is desirable. We report the first continuous flow synthetic method for the encapsulation of a model protein (BSA) and a clinical therapeutic (α1-antitrypsin, AAT) in ZIF-8. We studied the in situ kinetics of nucleation, growth and crystallization of BSA-ZIF-8 by SAXS. By controlling the injection time of ethanol, we could quench the particle growth via ethanol-induced crystallization. The particle size of the biocomposite was tuned in the 40-100 nm range by varying residence time prior to introduction of ethanol.