In recent years, modulating amphiphilic assembly by macrocyclic receptors has
been emerging as a fantastic topic. As we know, amphiphiles possess ability of selfassembly
in aqueous solution due to their unique structures, resulting in important biological
functions and various applications in our daily life and industry. Among methods
to modulate their assembly behavior, using macrocyclic compounds as amphiphile adaptors
owns advantages of convenience and efficiency. Preorganized structures and cavities
of macrocyclic compounds enable them the ability of efficiently interacting with amphiphiles
in different manners. These additional interactions alter amphiphilic assembly.
In this review, we would like to provide a systemic summary of why and how macrocyclic
compounds could behave as amphiphile adaptors. For this objective, we introduce related
works from the viewpoint of intermolecular interaction. In general, addition of interactions which decrease
electrostatic reputation of amphiphiles could promote amphiphilic assembly, and vice versa. Addition of interactions
which prevent hydrophobic interaction could inhibit amphiphilc assembly. On the other hand, complexation
of macromolecular compounds and amphiphiles could cause steric hindrance, which is unfavorable
for assembly. We also take several classical amphiphiles as examples to clarify how different macrocyclic
compounds adapt amphiphile assembly.
Keywords: Macrocyclic compounds, amphiphile, assembly, supramolecular chemistry, calixarene, cyclodextrin, cucurbituril.
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