Covalent–Organic Framework-Based Materials in Theranostic Applications: Insights into Their Advantages and Challenges

Harjot Kaur, Samarjeet Singh Siwal*, Reena V. Saini, Vijay Kumar Thakur

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Nanomedicine has been essential in bioimaging and cancer therapy in recent years. Nanoscale covalent–organic frameworks (COFs) have been growing as an adequate classification of biomedical nanomaterials with practical application prospects because of their increased porosity, functionality, and biocompatibility. The high sponginess of COFs enables the incorporation of distinct imaging and therapeutic mechanisms with a better loading efficiency. Nevertheless, preliminary biocompatibility limits their possibility for clinical translation. Thus, cutting-edge nanomaterials with high biocompatibility and improved therapeutic efficiency are highly expected to fast-track the clinical translation of nanomedicines. The inherent effects of nanoscale COFs, such as proper size, modular pore geometry and porosity, and specific postsynthetic transformation through simple organic changes, make them particularly appealing for prospective nanomedicines. The organic building blocks of COFs may also be postmodified for particular binding to biomarkers. The exceptional features of COFs cause them to be an encouraging nanocarrier for bioimaging and therapeutic applications. In this review, we have systematically discussed the advances of COFs in the field of theranostics by providing essential features of COFs along with their synthetic methods. Further, the applications of COFs in the field of theranostics (such as drug delivery systems, photothermal, and photodynamic therapy) are discussed in detail with the help of available literature to date. Furthermore, the advantages of COFs over other materials for therapeutics and drug delivery are discussed. Finally, the review concludes with potential future COF applications in the theranostic field.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6235-6252
Number of pages18
JournalACS Omega
Issue number6
Early online date29 Jan 2024
Publication statusPrint publication - 13 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

© 2024 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society.


  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Chemistry


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