Supramolecular chemistry

Supramolecular chemistry is the study of entities of greater complexity than individual molecules — assemblies of molecules that bond and organize through intermolecular interactions. The design and synthesis of supramolecular systems invokes interactions beyond the covalent bond, using, for example, hydrogen bonding, metal coordination and π interactions to bring discrete building blocks together.


Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    Fractal topologies are ubiquitous, and synthetic fractal objects provide unique functional advantages by virtue of their high surface area:volume ratios. Now, a computationally guided bottom-up design approach for constructing protein-based fractal assemblies in response to phosphorylation has been developed. Designed assemblies are shown to perform reversible and efficient molecular capture.

    • Nancy E. Hernández
    • , William A. Hansen
    • , Denzel Zhu
    • , Maria E. Shea
    • , Marium Khalid
    • , Viacheslav Manichev
    • , Matthew Putnins
    • , Muyuan Chen
    • , Anthony G. Dodge
    • , Lu Yang
    • , Ileana Marrero-Berríos
    • , Melissa Banal
    • , Phillip Rechani
    • , Torgny Gustafsson
    • , Leonard C. Feldman
    • , Sang-Hyuk Lee
    • , Lawrence P. Wackett
    • , Wei Dai
    •  & Sagar D. Khare
  • Research | | open

    Bipyridine derivatives have been shown to control the self-assembly of amyloid-derived dipeptides. Here the authors show that 4,4'-bipyridine inhibits the formation of amyloid-like beta-sheet assembly by Fmoc-protected diphenylalanine, prompting a reorganisation to helical structure, and characterise the transition pathway.

    • Wei Ji
    • , Chengqian Yuan
    • , Priyadarshi Chakraborty
    • , Sharon Gilead
    • , Xuehai Yan
    •  & Ehud Gazit
  • Research | | open

    Designing systems to drive endergonic reactions using light as an energy source is a major challenge. Here a photoswitchable ligand is used to generate unstable cyclic tetravanadate species in solution.

    • Hanno Sell
    • , Anika Gehl
    • , Daniel Plaul
    • , Frank D. Sönnichsen
    • , Christian Schütt
    • , Felix Köhler
    • , Kim Steinborn
    •  & Rainer Herges
  • Research | | open

    DNA is a biological building block which has drawn much attention as a structural material for a range of applications. Here, the authors report that DNA structures can be templated using shear-induced flow and microposts for controllable DNA patterning.

    • Yun Jeong Cha
    • , Soon Mo Park
    • , Ra You
    • , Hyoungsoo Kim
    •  & Dong Ki Yoon
  • Research | | open

    Functional multilayer coatings are typically obtained by layer-by-layer deposition of desired molecules. Here spin-coating a solution of chitosan-surfactant vesicles onto silica provides a one-step method to obtain stable multilayer surface coatings with tunable thickness.

    • Samantha Micciulla
    • , Dominic W. Hayward
    • , Yuri Gerelli
    • , Alain Panzarella
    • , Regine von Klitzing
    • , Michael Gradzielski
    •  & Leonardo Chiappisi
  • Research | | open

    Despite its application in functional materials, covalent peptide modification and controlling peptide self-assembly remains challenging. Here the authors report a programmable supramolecular peptide by pillararene-based noncovalent interactions with multiple self-assembly morphologies and application in PDT.

    • Huangtianzhi Zhu
    • , Huanhuan Wang
    • , Bingbing Shi
    • , Liqing Shangguan
    • , Weijun Tong
    • , Guocan Yu
    • , Zhengwei Mao
    •  & Feihe Huang

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Nature harnesses fractal geometry to create structures with unusual surface-to-volume ratios. Now, a new design approach enables the reversible assembly of functional enzymes into arboreal patterns with fractal geometry.

    • Iris D. Young
    •  & James S. Fraser
  • News and Views |

    In biological systems, order typically emerges from out-of-equilibrium molecular processes that control both static patterns and dynamic changes. Now, the self-regulating assembly and disassembly of a synthetic system has been achieved on the micrometre scale, by coupling the growth of a DNA nanotube to a biochemical oscillator.

    • Tim Liedl
    Nature Chemistry 11, 497-499
  • News and Views |

    The structure of self-assembled aggregates depends critically on the manner in which the building blocks organize themselves. Now, such a self-assembly process has been monitored in situ using liquid-phase transmission electron microscopy, unveiling a new pathway of vesicle formation.

    • Arash Nikoubashman
    •  & Friederike Schmid
    Nature Chemistry 11, 298-300