The new supramolecular nano-aggregate curcumin-cucurbituril: synthesis, photophysical properties and biocompatibility evaluation†
The supramolecular nano-aggregate CUR–CB (CUR = curcumin and CB = cucurbituril) was efficiently prepared by mixing CUR and CB at a molar ratio of 1 : 1 in ethanol at room temperature. The supramolecular aggregate formation was evidenced by mainly FTIR, 1H NMR, DOSY and spectroscopy experiments. The supramolecular arrangement promotes the increase in the solubility and stability of CUR without affecting the biological properties of the A549 cells. The luminescence properties of CUR and CUR–CB show anti-Kasha's rule fluorescence, and their remarkable NIR emission enables this material to be used as a luminescent probe and marker for in vivo tracking and structural integrity monitoring of the supramolecular complex.