Yves Blériot is co-author of a recent article in the journal Nature Communications…

Yves Blériot is co-author of a recent article in the journal Nature Communications on a study carried out in the team of Matthew Sollogoub in the Molecular Chemistry Institut Parisien (UPMC Sorbonne University / CNRS).

1 of 7826, atomic precision in the chemical functionalization of cyclodextrin molecules.

Site-selective hexa-hetero-functionalization of a-cyclodextrin year archetypical C6-symmetric concave cycle. DOI: 10.1038 / ncomms6354

Nature communications

Nature communications

1 of 7826 is the selectivity with which it is now possible to chemically functionalize the cyclodextrin molecules. It is a technological lock that size just jumped and opens a wide field of applications for the use of cyclodextrins previously hampered by difficult functionalization.

Cyclodextrins are “cage molecules” of natural origin, derived from starch, which have a cavity in the center can accommodate other molecules encapsulate, thereby creating a supramolecular assembly with multiple properties.

Cyclodextrins have countless applications in our daily lives today. They are widely used by the industry – whether in medicine for the encapsulation of drugs in food as a flavor enhancer, cosmetics or in the manufacture of intelligent textiles to secure the active compounds (perfumes, antibacterial, etc.) – that fundamental research.

A major challenge faced by synthetic chemists involves modifying a complex molecule with atomic precision. In other words, on a molecule, preferably biosourced, being able to choose a specific atom and add a function that modifies the chemical property of the molecule. Through the original method called “debenzylation”, it is now possible to target any atom on one side of the cyclodextrin and to transform chemically.

Initially, cyclodextrins are “smooth” and symmetrical as consisting of six identical units. While it is easy to add a new function on the molecule, the team showed that it is possible to add a second function by controlling the location of it. In this article in Nature Communications, the team was able to add others, yet different until 6, leading to the award of cyclodextrins with a selectivity of 1 in 7826, this number is the total number of combinations of functions 6 of 6 positions. This method of synthesis of multifunctional cyclodextrin molecules allows the creation of unparalleled complexity.

This innovative transformation process thus opens an unprecedented scope in the use of these natural molecules and allows access to the realization of new supramolecules, complex buildings carry a high density of information.

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