Background: Developing a controllable drug delivery system is imperative and important to reduce side effects and enhance the therapeutic efficacy of drugs. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs)—an emerging class of hybrid porous materials built from metal ions or clusters bridged by organic linkers—have attracted increasing attention in recent years owing to the unique physical structures possessed, and the potential for vast applications. The superior properties of MOFs, such as well-defined pore aperture, tailorable composition and structure, tunable size, versatile functionality, high agent loading, and improved biocompatibility, have made them promising candidates as drug delivery hosts. MOFs for drug delivery is of great interest and many very promising results have been found, indicating that these porous solids exhibit several advantages over existing systems.
Objective: This review highlights the latest advances in the synthesis, functionalization, and applications of MOFs in drug delivery, and has classified them using drug loading strategies. Finally, challenges and future perspectives in this research area are also outlined.