Chemistry: Molecular matchmaking

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    Structures up to centimetres long have been created by the self-assembly of gel particles that 'recognize' each other at the molecular level. Such molecular recognition has previously been used to self-assemble molecules at the microscopic scale.

    Akira Harada of Osaka University in Japan and his colleagues prepared acrylamide-based 'host' gels bearing cyclodextrin rings, and other gels with smaller 'guest' hydrocarbons. The rings and the guest molecules bound to each other, allowing small pieces of gel to self-assemble in specific ways (pictured).

    Nature Chem. doi:10.1038/nchem.893 (2010)

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    Chemistry: Molecular matchmaking. Nature 468, 479 (2010) doi:10.1038/468479e

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