Water-soluble molecular capsules: self-assembly and binding properties

Francesca Corbellini, Ronald M.A. Knegtel, Peter D.J. Grootenhuis, Mercedes Crego-Calama*, David N. Reinhoudt*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    81 Citations (Scopus)


    The self-assembly and characterization of water-soluble calix[4]arene-based molecular capsules (12) is reported. The assemblies are the result of ionic interactions between negatively charged calix[4]arenes 1 a and 1 b, functionalized at the upper rim with amino acid moieties, and a positively charged tetraamidiniumcalix[4]arene 2. The formation of the molecular capsules is studied by 1H NMR spectroscopy, ESI mass spectrometry (ESI-MS), and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). A molecular docking protocol was used to identify potential guest molecules for the self-assembled capsule 1 a2. Experimental guest encapsulation studies indicate that capsule 1 a2 is an effective host for both charged (N-methylquinuclidinium cation) and neutral molecules (6-amino-2-methylquinoline) in water.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)298-307
    Number of pages9
    JournalChemistry: a European journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


    • Docking
    • Host–guest systems
    • Ionic interactions
    • Molecular capsules
    • Self-assembly


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