May 27, 2014
New Perspectives To The Design Of Molecular Cages
Researchers from the University of Jyväskylä report a new method of building molecular cages. The method involves the exploitation of intermolecular steric effects to control the outcome of a self-assembly reaction.
The reported results provide new insights on how self-assembly processes of metal-organic systems can be controlled. However, the most significant feature of the proposed method is the new way of building molecular cages with vacant metal binding sites. This creates an opportunity to modify the properties and behavior of pre-assembled cages by incorporating functionally significant molecules to partially exposed metal ions. The presented strategy provides a new concept to build more complex molecular cages.
Molecular cages are the materials of tomorrow
Molecular cages and capsules are hollow nano-sized (1 x 10-9 m) compounds that consist of organic molecules or ions and, in most cases, metal ions. They share many structural features with, for example, viruses whose shells (capsids) are composed of organized proteins. One of the most significant feature of molecular cages is their ability to bind and release guest molecules depending on the prevailing conditions. Hence, some of their most important potential applications include biomedicinal uses (transport of drugs), storing of unstable and/or reactive molecules and recovery of hazardous compounds from aquatic environment.