Cucurbiturils: from synthesis to high-affinity binding and catalysis
In the wide area of supramolecular chemistry, cucurbit[n]urils (CBn) present themselves as a young family of molecular containers, able to form stable complexes with various guests, including drug molecules, amino acids and peptides, saccharides, dyes, hydrocarbons, perfluorinated hydrocarbons, and even high molecular weight guests such as proteins (e.g., human insulin). Since the discovery of the first CBn, CB6, the field has seen tremendous growth with respect to the synthesis of new homologues and derivatives, the discovery of record binding affinities of guest molecules in their hydrophobic cavity, and associated applications ranging from sensing to drug delivery. In this review, we discuss in detail the fundamental properties of CBn homologues and their cyclic derivatives with a focus on their synthesis and their applications in catalysis.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Molecular Containers