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Supramolecular Chemistry at Interfaces: Host–Guest Interactions for Fabricating Multifunctional Biointerfaces

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The Key Lab of Organic Optoelectronics & Molecular Engineering, Department of Chemistry, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, P. R. China
Melville Laboratory for Polymer Synthesis, Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB21EW, United Kingdom
*E-mail: [email protected] (X.Z.).
*E-mail: [email protected] (O.A.S.).
Cite this: Acc. Chem. Res. 2014, 47, 7, 2106–2115
Publication Date (Web):April 25, 2014
Copyright © 2014 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract Image

    Host–guest chemistry can greatly improve the selectivity of biomolecule–ligand binding on account of recognition-directed interactions. In addition, functional structures and the actuation of supramolecular assemblies in molecular systems can be controlled efficiently through various host–guest chemistry. Together, these highly selective, strong yet dynamic interactions can be exploited as an alternative methodology for applications in the field of programmable and controllable engineering of supramolecular soft materials through the reversible binding between complementary components.

    Many processes in living systems such as biotransformation, transportation of matter, and energy transduction begin with interfacial molecular recognition, which is greatly influenced by various external stimuli at biointerfaces. Detailed investigations about the molecular recognition at interfaces can result in a better understanding of life science, and further guide us in developing new biomaterials and medicines. In order to mimic complicated molecular-recognition systems observed in nature that adapt to changes in their environment, combining host–guest chemistry and surface science is critical for fabricating the next generation of multifunctional biointerfaces with efficient stimuli-responsiveness and good biocompatibility.

    In this Account, we will summarize some recent progress on multifunctional stimuli-responsive biointerfaces and biosurfaces fabricated by cyclodextrin- or cucurbituril-based host–guest chemistry and highlight their potential applications including drug delivery, bioelectrocatalysis, and reversible adsorption and resistance of peptides, proteins, and cells. In addition, these biointerfaces and biosurfaces demonstrate efficient response toward various external stimuli, such as UV light, pH, redox chemistry, and competitive guests. All of these external stimuli can aid in mimicking the biological stimuli evident in complex biological environments. We begin by reviewing the current state of stimuli-responsive supramolecular assemblies formed by host–guest interactions, discussing how to transfer host–guest chemistry from solution onto surfaces required for fabricating multifunctional biosurfaces and biointerfaces. Then, we present different stimuli-responsive biosurfaces and biointerfaces, which have been prepared through a combination of cyclodextrin- or cucurbituril-based host–guest chemistry and various surface technologies such as self-assembled monolayers or layer-by-layer assembly. Moreover, we discuss the applications of these biointerfaces and biosurfaces in the fields of drug release, reversible adsorption and release of some organic molecules, peptides, proteins, and cells, and photoswitchable bioelectrocatalysis. In addition, we summarize the merits and current limitations of these methods for fabricating multifunctional stimuli-responsive biointerfaces in a dynamic noncovalent manner. Finally, we present possible strategies for future designs of stimuli-responsive multifunctional biointerfaces and biosurfaces by combining host–guest chemistry with surface science, which will lead to further critical development of supramolecular chemistry at interfaces.

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