Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Shengqian Ma, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Li-June Ming, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jianfeng Cai, Ph.D.

Committee Member

John N. Kuhn, Ph.D.


Biocatalysis, Encapsulation, Enzyme, Mesoporous materials, Metal-Organic Frameworks


Encapsulation of biomolecules is of great interest to research advances related to biology, physiology, immunology, and biochemistry, as well as industrial and biomedical applications such as drug delivery, biocatalysis, biofuel, food and cosmetics. Encapsulation provides functional characteristics that are not fulfilled by free biomolecules and stabilizes the fragile biomolecules. In terms of biocatalysis, solid support can often enhance the stability of enzymes, as well as facilitate separation and recovery for reuse while maintaining activity and selectivity. Various kinds of materials have been used for encapsulation of biomolecules, among which, porous materials are an important group. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have attracted much attention and emerged as a new generation of highly porous functional materials with potential in a variety of fields such as gas separation and storage, catalysis, sensors and biomedical applications. Their structural versatility and amenability to be designed with specific functionality, together with their extra-large surface areas confer them a special place amongst traditional porous materials. In particular, because ligands can be designed with particular organic functional groups for specific interactions with biomolecules, they are attractive in the stabilization and retention of enzyme/proteins for biomedical or biocatalysis applications. With enlarged pore sizes, mesoporous (pore sizes in the range of 2 to 50 nm) MOFs are of great interest in the encapsulation of proteins. In this dissertation, I am focusing on the encapsulation of biomolecules into mesoporous MOFs (mesoMOFs) to estabilish the biomolecules@mesoMOF platform, including synthesis, characterization and mechanistic studies of a series of novel biomolecules@mesoMOF materials, and to develop the biomolecule@mesoMOFs platform for various applications.