Recent advances in the preparation of cyclodextrin-based polyrotaxanes and their applications to soft materials
The present review article deals with recent novel studies on the preparation and application of polyrotaxanes comprised of cyclodextrins (CDs) and various linear polymers, especially poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG). First, a brief introduction of the historical background of the pioneering work on the preparation of an inclusion complex and polyrotaxane is provided. Subsequently, the authors have focused on the recently developed solvent systems for the polyrotaxane. These new solvents are interesting from two fundamental viewpoints: (1) from the perspective of the clarification of the hydrogen-bonding-based dissolution mechanism of polyrotaxanes; and (2) from the practical viewpoint of the preparation of modified polyrotaxanes or slide-ring gels containing ionic liquids. A wide variety of polyrotaxane derivatives, whose cyclodextrin moiety was modified to carry various functional groups, and their intriguing characteristics are introduced in this article. Finally, many instances of the application of the PEG–CD polyrotaxane to soft materials, such as gels, molecular tubes and multivalent ligand systems, are summarized.