Supramolecular functional assemblies: dynamic membrane transporters and peptide nanotubular composites
The fabrication of functional molecular devices constitutes one of the most important current challenges for chemical sciences. The complex processes accomplished by living systems continuously demand the assistance of non-covalent interactions between molecular building blocks. Additionally, these building blocks (proteins, membranes, nucleotides) are also constituted by self-assembled structures. Therefore, supramolecular chemistry is the discipline required to understand the properties of the minimal self-assembled building blocks of living systems and to develop new functional smart materials. In the first part of this feature article, we highlight selected examples of the preparation of supramolecular membrane transporters with special emphasis on the application of dynamic covalent bonds. In the second section of the paper we review recent breakthroughs in the preparation of peptide nanotube hybrids with functional applications. The development of these devices constitutes an exciting process from where we can learn how to understand and manipulate supramolecular functional assemblies.