Smart supramolecular gels of enolizable amphiphilic glycosylfuran†
The implementation of a novel approach in the development of stimuli responsive supramolecular gels is an important objective that challenges material chemists and biologists in order to access an exclusively new category of smart materials. In this report, non-toxic, bio-based amphiphilic glycosylfurans were designed and synthesized using a biocatalyst, Novozyme 435, an immobilized lipase B from Candida antarctica. The self-assembly of these compounds generated oleogels and hydrogels. To our delight, these bio-based amphiphilic glycosylfurans furnished an in situ stimuli responsive hydrogel with simultaneous encapsulation of various biologically relevant molecules and ions. For the first time we are reporting hydrogelation via in situ molecular tuning followed by a self-sorting mechanism. The sol-to-gel transition in the reported smart hydrogel was observed by the addition of acidic buffer of pH 4.0, which could be potentially used for the stimuli responsive delivery of a signalling molecule, H2S and other biomolecules that regulate many physiological and pathological processes.