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Multivalency by Bart Jan Ravoo, Rainer Haag, Leonard J. Prins, Jurriaan Huskens

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12Cucurbit[n]uril Assemblies for Biomolecular Applications

Emanuela Cavatorta1,2, Luc Brunsveld3, Jurriaan Huskens2, and Pascal Jonkheijm1,2

1 Bioinspired Molecular Engineering Laboratory, MIRA Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine, University of Twente, 7500 AE, Enschede, the Netherlands

2 Molecular Nanofabrication Group, MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, 7500 AE, Enschede, the Netherlands

3 Department of Biomedical Engineering, Laboratory of Chemical Biology and Institute of Complex Molecular Systems, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, the Netherlands

12.1 Introduction

Cucurbit[n]urils (CB[n]s) are a relatively young class of macrocycles that are able to form stable host–guest complexes with various guests. These guests range from small molecules such as drugs, dyes, and amino acids, to polymers, peptides and even protein domains, via their appended side‐chains. The wide range of possible guests has stimulated an increasing number of fundamental molecular recognition studies that have found application in numerous fields, from catalysis to drug delivery and fabrication of (bio)materials [1–5].

The first synthetic report of cucurbituril originates from 1905 by Behrend and coworkers [5a], but it was only in 1981 that Mock’s group revealed the molecular structure of this “condensation product”, giving it the name of CB[6] [5b]. These compounds were named cucurbit[n]urils to highlight their symmetric shape resembling that ...

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