Congratulations Dr. Ji
Congratulations to Pengfei Ji for receiving his PhD! Pengfei has also
been awarded the Miller Research Fellowship by UC Berkeley to join
John Hartwig's group as a postdoctoral researcher.
Congratulations Dr. Lu
Congratulations to Dr. Kuangda Lu for starting
his new position as an assistant professor in the Biomedical
Department at Peking University (Beijing, China).
Congratulations Dr. Duan
Congratulations to Dr. Xiaopin Duan for starting
her new position as a full professor in the Cancer Research Institute
Medical University (Guangdong, China).
Congratulations to Guangxu Lan for winning the Edward C. Lee Memorial
Congratulations Dr. Lin
Congratulations to Zekai Lin for receiving his PhD!
ACS Yao Yuan Award of Medicinal Chemistry
04-29-2017: Dr. Xiaopin Duan's poster entitled
Therapy Mediated by Non-toxic Core-Shell Nanoparticles Synergize with
Immune Checkpoint Blockade to Elicit Antitumor Immunity and
Antimetastasis Effect on Breast Cancer" was chosen as a first place
winner by the Yao Yuan-Academy for Pharma Innovation. Dr. Duan
was invited to present her work which can be found here
at the recent
symposium as part of her ACS Yao Yuan Award of Medicinal Chemistry.
Congratulations also to Dr. Kuangda Lu for his second place poster
entitled "Chlorin-Based Nanoscale Metal-Organic Framework Systemically
Rejects Colorectal Cancers via Synergistic Photodynamic Therapy and
Checkpoint Blockade Immunotherapy" which can be found here.
2017 Young Investigator Award
04-06-2017: Dr. Kuangda Lu, a recent graduate and
postdoctoral fellow in the Lin Group, has been selected for the 2017
Young Investigator Award for the ACS Inorganic Chemistry Division. As
an awardee, Kuangda will present his work on nanoscale metal organic
frameworks for biomedical applications at the upcoming ACS meeting.
New Member of UChicago Medicine's Comprehensive Cancer
02-10-2017: Prof Wenbin Lin has been added to the
Cancer Center for his nanoplatforms enhancing currently existing
chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and immunotherapy.
Innovations in Fuel Cycle Research
Congratulations to Marek Piechowicz for receiving a First Prize in the
U.S. Department of Energy's Innovations in Fuel Cycle Research Awards
for his work on uranium recovery from seawater simulant. The
Innovations in Fuel Cycle Research Awards program recognizes students
who develop innovative solutions fueling nuclear technology. The
research for which he won this prize can be found here.
Congratulations Drs. Lu and Poon
Congratulations to Kuangda Lu and Christopher Poon for receiving their
PhDs! Dr. Kuangda Lu successfully defended his thesis "Nanoscale Metal
Organic Frameworks for Biomedical Applications" and Dr. Chris Poon
successfully defended his thesis "Nanoscale Coordination Polymers
Co-Deliver Multiple Therapeutics for Combination Therapy of Cancer"
earlier this summer.
05-23-2016: Congratulations to Kuangda Lu for receiving
Elizabeth R. Norton Prize for Excellence in Research and Zekai Lin for
receiving the Otto & Valerie Windt Memorial Graduate Fellowship
for the upcoming year.
10-04-2015: The Lin group just received a five-year U01
from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) through the Innovative
Research in Cancer Nanotechnology (IRCN) program. This IRCN grant will
allow the Lin group to continue exploring the applications of nanoscale
metal-organic frameworks (NMOFs) in cancer therapy, a research effort
his group initiated more than a decade ago. The $2.88 million dollar
U01 grant will allow the Lin group to refine the successful strategies
to identify prototype NMOFs for clinical translation. Congratulations!
Baxter's Young Investigator Award
08-25-2015: Dr. Chunbai He, a postdoctoral
fellow in the Lin group, has been chosen as a winner of Baxter's Young
Investigator Awards for her hard work and innovative spirit. As a
recipient of this award, Dr. He will be highlighted at Baxter.com
08-15-2015: The Lin group enjoyed a group outing
to Promontory Point where they enjoyed a barbecue and some soccer.
Dr. Carter Abney, a graduate of the Lin Lab, has left the group to
start his career at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Congratulations,
Happy Birthday, Professor Lin
Happy Birthday Professor Lin. The group
celebrated Prof Lin's recent birthday with a cake.
Fuel Cycle Research Award
Carter Abney was featured by UChicago News for his work on extracting
uranium from seawater, for which he was a first-place winner in the
Department of Energy's Innovations in Fuel Cycle Research Awards
NMOFs for Real-Time Intracellular pH Sensing
08-22-2014: Real-time measurement of
intracellular pH in live cells is of great importance for understanding
physiological/pathological processes and developing intra-cellular drug
delivery systems. As reported in in Journal of American Chemical
Society (2014, DOI:
10.1021/ja507333c), the Lin group has demonstrated the first
use of nanoscale metal−organic frameworks (NMOFs) for intracellular pH
sensing in live cells. UiO NMOFs conjugated to flourescein
isothiocyanate (F-UiO) not only showed excellent ratiometric pH-sensing
properties but also remained structurally intact inside endosomes,
allowing for live cell imaging studies. F-UiO allowed the real time
observation of endo- and exocytosis of F-UiO and endosome
acidification. Fluorescently labeled NMOFs thus represent a new class
of nanosensors for intracellular pH sensing and studying NMOF-cell
interactions. This work has been featured in JACS Spotlight for the
probe's ability to retain the benefits of fluorescent pH sensors
without dye leaching and clumping.
08-08-2014: The Lin group enjoyed a group
outing to Promontory Point where they enjoyed a barbecue and some
Innovation Fund Award
07-22-2014: The Lin group's work on siRNA grafted
coordination polymers containing chemotherapeutic drugs has been
awarded $100,000 by the Innovation Fund to prepare the NCP for
pre-clinical testing in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. The
Innovation Fund, which invests in early development of new ventures
created by University of Chicago affiliates, has chosen this technology
because it increases progression-free survival benefits and reduces
side effects of platinum-based drugs, among other benefits.
NCPs for Cancer Therapy
The Lin group recently designed self-assembled
nanoscale coordination polymers (NCPs) for highly effective cancer
therapy. As reported in Nature Communications (2014,
DOI: 10.1038), the NCPs carry 48±3 wt% cisplatin prodrug (1)
and 45±5 wt% oxaliplatin prodrug (2) with selective and substantial
accumulation of chemotherapeutics in solid tumours via the passive
targeting pathways. In vivo pharmacokinetic studies in mice showed
minimal uptake of pegylated NCPs by the mononuclear phagocyte system
and excellent blood circulation half-lives of 16.4±2.9 h and 12.0±3.9 h
for pegylated 1 and 2, respectively. In several tumor xenograft models
evaluated, pegylated NCPs showed superior potency and efficacy compared
to free drugs. NCPs have thus been demonstrated as a highly effective
drug delivery platform for cancer therapy by virtue of tunable
compositions, sizes, and shapes; high drug loadings; ease of surface
modification; and intrinsic biodegradability.
07-16-2014: Dr. Demin Liu, a graduate of the
Lin Lab, has left the group to start his career at Baxter Healthcare.
Innovations in Fuel Cycle Research
06-02-2014: Carter Abney is the First Place
winner in the Separations and Waste Forms division of the Open
Competition for the Innovations in Fuel Cycle Research awards
competition. His research is in developing sorbent materials for
extraction of uranium from seawater and decontamination of nuclear
wastes. As an awardee, he will be presenting his paper "Metal-Organic
Framework Materials as Nanostructured Sorbents for the Nuclear Fuel
Cycle" at the American Nuclear Society Winter meeting in addition to
receiving a monetary prize.
05-09-2014: Dr. Michael
Carboni has left the group to start his appointment as a permanent
research scientist at Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies
alternatives (CEA, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy
Commission). Congratulations, Michael.
to Chris Poon
for finishing 10 McChickens in two hours!
MOFs for Highly Efficient Catalytic Organic
04-23-2014: The Lin group
recently designed and developed highly stable and recyclable
single-site solid catalysts via post-synthetic metalation of the
2,2'-bipyridyl-derived metal-organic framework (MOF) of the UiO
structure (bpy-UiO) with iridium or palladium precursors. As reported
in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (2014,
136 (18), pp 6566–6569), the Ir-functionalized MOF
(bpy-UiO-Ir) is a highly active catalyst for both borylation of
aromatic C-H bonds using B2(pin)2 (pin = pinacolate) and
ortho-silylation of benzylic¬silyl ethers; the ortho-silylation
activity of the bpy-UiO-Ir is at least three orders of magnitude higher
than that of the homogeneous control. The Pd-functionalized MOF
(bpy-UiO-Pd) catalyzes the dehydrogenation of substituted
cyclohexenones to afford phenol derivatives with oxygen as the oxidant.
Most impressively, the bpy-UiO-Ir was recycled and reused 20 times for
the borylation reaction without loss of catalytic activity or MOF
crystallinity. This work highlights the opportunity in designing highly
stable and active catalysts based on MOFs containing nitrogen donor
ligands for important organic transformations.
MOF for Highly Efficient X-ray Scintillation
04-14-2014: As published in the Journal of the
American Chemical Society (2014,
136 (17), pp 6171–6174), the Lin Group reported two
metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) capable of efficiently converting X-ray
radiation to visible-light luminescence. The MOFs are constructed from
M6(µ3-O)4(µ3-OH)4(carboxylate)12 (M = Hf or Zr) secondary building
units (SBUs) and anthracene-based dicarboxylate bridging ligands. The
high atomic number Zr and Hf in the SBUs serve as effective X-ray
antenna by absorbing X-ray photons and converting them to fast
electrons through the photoelectric effect. The generated electrons
then excite multiple anthracene-based emitters in the MOF through
inelastic scattering, leading to efficient generation of detectable
photons in the visible spectrum. The MOF materials thus serve as
efficient X-ray scintillators via synergistic X-ray absorption by the
metal-cluster SBUs and optical emission by the bridging ligands. This
work was performed in collaboration with the research group of Lei Xing
at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Privileged Phosphine-Based Metal-Organic Frameworks for
Broad-Scope Asymmetric Catalysis
As published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (2014,
136 (14), pp 5213–5216) and highlighted in Science,
the Lin group developed a robust and porous Zr metal-organic framework
(MOF) based on a BINAP-derived dicarboxylate linker, BINAP-MOF.
Post-synthetic metalation with Ru and Rh complexes afforded highly
enantioselective catalysts for important organic transformations.
Notably, the Rh-functionalized MOF is not only highly enantioselective
(up to >99% e.e.) but also 3 times as active as the homogeneous
control. Extended x-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (EXAFS),
performed in collaboration with the Lockard group of Rutgers
University, revealed that the Ru-functionalized MOF contains Ru-BINAP
precatalysts with the same coordination environment as the homogeneous
Ru complex. The post-synthetically metalated BINAP-MOFs provide a
versatile family of single-site solid catalysts for catalyzing a broad
scope of asymmetric organic transformations, including the addition of
aryl and alkyl groups to α,β-unsaturated ketones as well as the
hydrogenation of substituted alkenes and carbonyl compounds.
Nanoscale Metal-Organic Frameworks for Treating
Drug-Resistant Ovarian Cancer Cells
resistance to chemotherapy is a major limitation for ovarian cancer
treatment. The Lin group recently reported in the Journal of the
American Chemical Society (2014,
136 (14), pp 5181–5184) the first use of nanoscale
metal-organic frameworks (NMOFs) for the co-delivery of cisplatin and
pooled small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) to enhance therapeutic efficacy
in cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancer. UiO NMOFs with hexagonal-plate
morphologies were loaded with cisplatin and MDR gene-silencing siRNAs
(Bcl-2, P-glycoprotein [P-gp], and survivin) via encapsulation and
surface coordination, respectively. Co-delivery of cisplatin and siRNAs
with NMOFs led to an order of magnitude enhancement in chemotherapeutic
efficacy in vitro by silencing multiple drug resistance (MDR) genes and
re-sensitizing resistant ovarian cancer cells to cisplatin treatment.
POM Molecular Catalysts for Visible Light-Driven Water
03-24-2014: As reported by
the Lin Group in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (2014,
136 (14), pp 5359–5366), a series of all-inorganic,
abundant-metal-based, high-nuclearity cobalt-phosphate (Co-Pi)
molecular catalysts were synthesized and shown to be highly effective
at photocatalytic water oxidation. The Co-Pi cluster contains a Co4O4
cubane which is structurally analogous to the [Mn3CaO4] core of the
oxygen-evolving complex (OEC) in photosystem II (PSII). Four distinct
compounds were investigated and shown to be the first POM-based
Co−Pi-cluster molecular catalysts for visible light-driven water
oxidation, thus serving as a functional model of the OEC in PSII. The
systematic synthesis of four isostructural analogues allowed for
investigating the influence of different heteroatoms in the POM ligands
on the photocatalytic activities of these Co−Pi cluster WOCs. Further
study shows that these oxidatively resistant catalysts were not only
highly effective at photocatalytic water oxidation, but could also
maintain their structural integrity under photocatalytic conditions.
Biomimetic Copper Water Oxidation Catalyst with Low
12-10-2013: In the Journal
of the American Chemical Society (2014,
136 (1), pp 273–281), researchers in the Lin group reported a
highly active water oxidation catalyst (WOC) from simply mixing a
Cu(II) salt and 6,6'-dihydroxy-2,2'-bipyridine in a basic aqueous
solution. Cyclic voltammetry of the solution at pH = 12-14 shows
irreversible catalytic current with an onset potential of ~0.8 V vs.
NHE. Catalytic oxygen evolution takes place in controlled potential
electrolysis at a relatively low overpotential of 640 mV. Through
collaboration with computational chemists at UNC-Chapel Hill Research
Computing, DFT calculations were performed to further investigate the
catalytic system. Experimental and computational studies suggest that
the ligand participates in electron transfer processes to facilitate
the oxidation of the Cu center to lead to an active WOC with low
overpotential, akin to the use of the tyrosine radical by Photosystem
II to oxidize the CaMn4 center for water oxidation.
Soaking Up Uranium
Published in Chemical
Science, and also highlighted in C&EN,
Group prepared three
metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) of the UiO-68 network topology and
investigated for sorption of uranium from water and artificial
seawater. The stable and porous phosphorylurea-derived MOFs were shown
to be highly efficient in sorbing uranyl ions, with saturation sorption
capacities as high as 217 mg U g-1; which
is equivalent to binding one uranyl ion for every two sorbent groups.
Coordination modes between uranyl groups and simplified phosphorylurea
motifs were investigated by DFT calculations, revealing a
thermodynamically favorable monodentate binding of two phosphorylurea
ligands to one uranyl ion. Convergent orientation of phosphorylurea
groups at appropriate distances inside the MOF cavities is believed to
facilitate their cooperative binding with uranyl ions. This work
represents the first application of MOFs as novel sorbents to extract
actinide elements from aqueous media.
2013 Young Investigator Award
Cheng "Wave" Wang, a
graduate student in the Lin Group, has been selected for a 2013 Young
Investigator Awards given by the ACS Division of Inorganic Chemistry.
As an awardee, Wave will be giving an award presentation at the 2013
Fall ACS National meeting in Indianapolis, where he will receive $1000
and a plaque at the special oral presentation session. Wave's research
focuses on developing novel metal organic frameworks for solar energy
related applications and heterogeneous asymmetric catalysis.
Exceptional Methane Uptake Capacity
in the Lin
constructed a 6,8-connected 3-dimensional metal–organic framework, MOF,
of the tph topology from a new aromatic-rich,
tetraphenylmethane-derived octa-carboxylate bridging ligand and trizinc
cluster secondary building units, SBUs, which exhibited exceptionally
high hydrogen and methane uptake capacities. This MOF has the highest
hydrogen uptake among all of the MOFs that have been examined to date.
As described in the journal Chemical Science,
the gravimetric and volumetric methane uptake capacities for this new
framework are the highest among thousands of MOFs that have been
evaluated. The Lin Group attribute the exceptionally high gas uptake
capacities to the highly branched, aromatic-rich nature of the bridging
ligand, optimal pore size, and the open metal sites in the trizinc SBUs
in a stable high-connectivity MOF.
NMOFs as Contrast Agents in CT Imaging
frameworks, NMOFs, of the UiO-66 structure containing high Zirconium
and Hafnium content, 37% and 57% by weight respectively, were
synthesized and characterized in work by the Lin
Group, published in and featured on the cover of the Journal
of Materials Chemistry. The potential of these NMOFs as
contrast agents for X-ray computed tomography, CT, imaging was
evaluated. Hf-NMOFs of different sizes were coated with silica and
poly(ethylene glycol), PEG, to enhance biocompatibility, and were used
for in vivo CT imaging of mice, showing increased attenuation in the
liver and spleen.
Cavity-Induced Enantioselectivity Reversal
Group, in collaboration with Dr. Shubin Lin of the UNC
Research Computing Center, reports inChemical Science the
first enzyme-like catalysis by a metal-organic framework, MOF. They
constructed a pair of highly porous chiral
MOFs, 1 and 2, from chiral
1,1'-binaphthyl-2,2'-phosphoric acid-derived 3,3',6,6'- and
4,4'',6,6'-tetra(benzoate) ligands, respectively. Both MOFs are active
catalysts for Friedel–Crafts reactions between indole and imines.
Interestingly, the 1-catalyzed asymmetric reactions yielded
the major enantiomers of the opposite chirality to those afforded by
the corresponding homogeneous catalyst. Structural analyses and Quantum
Mechanics/Molecular Mechanics calculations revealed that the flip of
product handedness results from the chiral environment of the MOF
cavity, similar to enzymatic catalysis in which the product
stereoselectivity is determined by the enzyme pocket.
Enantioselective Fluorescence Sensing
in the Lin
Group, published in JACS,
have built a highly porous and fluorescent metal–organic framework,
MOF-1, from a chiral tetracarboxylate bridging ligand derived from
1,1′-bi-2-naphthol, BINOL, and a cadmium carboxylate infinite-chain
secondary building unit. The fluorescence of MOF-1 can be
effectively quenched by amino alcohols via H-bonding with the
binaphthol moieties decorating the MOF, leading to a remarkable chiral
sensor for amino alcohols with greatly enhanced sensitivity and
enantioselectivity over BINOL-based homogeneous systems. The higher
detection sensitivity of MOF-1 is due to a preconcentration
effect by which the analytes are absorbed and concentrated inside the
MOF channels, whereas the higher enantioselectivity of
MOF-1 is believed to result from enhanced chiral
discrimination owing to the cavity confinement effect and the
conformational rigidity of the BINOL groups in the framework.
MOF-1 was quenched by four chiral amino alcohols with
unprecedentedly high Stern–Volmer constants of 490–31200 M–1and
enantioselectivity ratios of 1.17–3.12.
Hydrogen Generating MOFs
frameworks, MOFs, are an interesting class of porous crystalline
materials that can be easily functionalized at the molecular level.
Group is interested
in using photoactive MOFs as a new platform to integrate different
functional components that are needed for solar energy conversion. The
group reports in JACS on the
design of synergistic hydrogen evolution photocatalysts based on
platinum nanoparticle MOF assemblies. Platinum nanoparticles were
selectively loaded to the cavities of phosphorescent MOFs (1 and 2) to
enable efficient photocatalytic H2 evolution via
photo-injection of electrons from the light-harvesting MOF frameworks
into the platinum nanoparticles. The Pt@2 assembly showed a hydrogen
evolution efficiency increase by approximately five times, compared to
the homogeneous control, and could be readily recycled and reused by
Nanocomposites for Hydrogen Production
As described in Advanced
Materials, the Lin
Group has developed a new metal-organic framework
(MOF)-templated method for the synthesis of a mixed metal oxide
nanocomposite with interesting photophysical properties. Fe-containing
nanoscale MOFs are coated with amorphous titania, which are then are
calcined to produce crystalline composite octahedral nanoshells with
hematite Fe2O3 nanoparticles embedded in anatase TiO2. This
material enables photocatalytic hydrogen production from water using
visible light, which cannot be achieved by either Fe2O3 or
TiO2 alone or a mixture of the two. This versatile
MOF-templated nanocomposite synthesis procedure could be readily
modified, by varying the type of MOF and the coating material, to
prepare new materials with desirable synergistic properties.