Antifungal-Inbuilt Metal-Organic-Frameworks Eradicate Candida albicans Biofilms

Linzhu Su, Yuanfeng Li, Yong Liu*, Rujiang Ma, Yang Liu, Fan Huang, Yingli An, Yijin Ren, Henny C. van der Mei, Henk J. Busscher, Linqi Shi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Fungal biofilms cause a major clinical problem with a shrinking armamentarium for treatment. Here, the design and synthesis of voriconazole-inbuilt zinc 2-methylimidazolates frameworks (V-ZIF) is reported. Voriconazole is built in through coordination-binding between zinc and voriconazole. These metal-organic-frameworks with inbuilt voriconazole, reduce inadvertent voriconazole-leakage, yield a zero-order release kinetics of voriconazole, aid antifungal penetration in Candida albicans biofilms, and prevent Candida aggregation yielding better dispersal. Once accumulated in an acidic C. albicans biofilm, voriconazole dissociates from the metal-organic framework to cause membrane-damage and killing of inhabiting fungi. Moreover, in a murine model, the V-ZIFs eradicate open-wound infections caused by C. albicans better than voriconazole in solution, with negligible side effects to the healthy tissues of major organs. Thus, V-ZIFs may provide a welcome addition to the antifungal armamentarium currently available for the treatment of fungal biofilms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2000537
Number of pages11
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number28
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28-May-2020


  • antifungal resistance
  • coordination binding
  • fungal biofilms
  • on-demand release
  • pH-responsive
  • zero-order release

Cite this