Cyclodextrins are cyclic oligosaccharides constituted by glucopyranose units linked by -(1,4) bonds
that show a characteristic donut shape with a hydrophobic cavity and a hydrophilic outer surface. Cyclodextrins
are capable of forming water-soluble host:guest complexes with lipophilic molecules that hide in the their cavity.
The aim of the review is to describe the historical background, the structure and proprieties of natural cyclodextrins
and their derivatives, their physico-chemical properties and toxicological profile. We also describe the different
methods to prepare the inclusion complexes and give an overview of the various applications of such complexes
in the different fields. The review discusses and summarizes the most recent literature of cyclodextrins and
their application in order to give a comprehensive treatment of the main features of these tools widely used to improve
the solubility and bioavailability of many compounds used in the biotechnological and pharmaceutical
Keywords: Cyclodextrin, crystal structure, inclusion complex, preparation methods.
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