Dendritic macromolecules are three-dimentional polymers with branch-on-branch topology of which dendrimers and hyperbranched polymers (HPs) are the two most researched subclasses. This paper reviews the recent progress of host-guest supramolecular chemistry in terms of various HPs and dendrimers. Because of the highly branched structure and the presence of internal space and binding sites, dendritic macromolecule can serve as host to encapsulate multiple guests, just like a highly branched “tree” accommodating multiple “birds nests”. Core-shell structure made by functionalization of dendritic polymer core with shielding shell of opposite polarity is usually needed to obtain a stable host-guest complex. Their encapsulation capacities are dependent on various factors, such as core size or molecular weight, polarity difference between core and shell, interaction strength between core and guests, shell density, and so on. Dendritic polymer-based host-guest encapsulation can be applied in many fields including phase-transfer, noncovalent functionalization, metal nanoparticle growth, and biological imaging.
Keywords: Hyperbranched polymer, dendrimer, dye, nanoparticle, encapsulation, host-guest complex, core-shell structure, unimolecular micelle, Dendritic macromolecules, hyperbranched polymers (HPs), degree of branching (DB), nanocapsule, nanocarrier, hydrophobic interaction, inverse micelle (IM), unimolecular inverse micelle (UIM), hyperbranched polyglycerol (HPG), Congo red (CR), Rose Bengal (RB), degree of functionalization (DF), Dynamic light scattering (DLS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), polyethyleneimine (PEI), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), critical aggregate concentration (CAC), polyethylene glycol (PEG), tamoxifen, hyperbranched poly(amido amine)s (HPAMAMs), methyl orange (MO), chloroform solution, methyl blue (MB), synergistic encapsulation, phloxine B (PB), fluorescein sodium (FS), hyperbranched polyethyleneimine (HPEI), Doxorubicin (Dox), Methotrexate (Mtx), polystyrene, Rhodamine 6G dye, indotricarbocyanine, siloxysilane, quantum dots, Langmuir-Blodgett (LB), Ag2S, electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), fluorescence, polycarbosiloxane dendrimer, atomic force microscopy, 8-anilino-1-naphthalene-sulfonic acid, betamethasone dipropionate, betamethasone valerate, Rose Bengal, radius of gyration, 7,7,8,8-tetracyanoquinodimethane