Molecular capsules

Definition

Molecular capsules are molecular scaffolds that have a cavity that can be used to hold a guest molecule. The capsules are of particular interest in the development of nanoscale reactors that can manipulate the chemistry of the trapped species, and in applications such as catalysis and drug delivery.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    A synthetic compound that transports chloride across membranes can kill both normal cells and cancer cells in vitro. The transporter works together with sodium channels to move NaCl into the cells, which triggers cell death.

    • Jeffery T. Davis
    Nature Chemistry 6, 852–853
  • News and Views |

    Attempts to create a porous molecular crystal by removing solvent molecules from a solvate usually lead the host to reorganize into a non-porous close-packed structure. The 'virtual porosity' of such an organic cage crystal has now been trapped by introducing a judiciously chosen co-crystal former that prevents rearrangement of the host lattice.

    • Leonard J. Barbour
    Nature Chemistry 7, 97–99
  • News and Views |

    The ability of enzymes to direct the synthesis of complex natural products from simple starting materials is epitomized by terpene biosynthesis. Now, a supramolecular catalyst has been shown to mimic some of the reactivity of this process.

    • Jeremy J. Roach
    •  & Ryan A. Shenvi
    Nature Chemistry 7, 187–189
  • News and Views |

    Macrocyclic compounds can serve as hosts for smaller organic molecules, but precise control over the uptake and release of the guests remains challenging. Now, a host–guest system has been built that responds to the addition of metal ions, showing promise for drug-delivery applications.

    • Werner M. Nau
    Nature Chemistry 2, 248–250