Research Topic

Supramolecular Assembly-Based Functional Nanostructures for Biomedical Applications

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About this Research Topic

Supramolecular Chemistry is an important branch of chemistry. Supramolecular interactions (hydrogen bond, hydrophobic forces, Van der Waals forces, etc.) are commonly found in nature, such as in protein structures, DNA double helix, phospholipid bilayer, and the recognition of ligands with receptors. Inspired ...

Supramolecular Chemistry is an important branch of chemistry. Supramolecular interactions (hydrogen bond, hydrophobic forces, Van der Waals forces, etc.) are commonly found in nature, such as in protein structures, DNA double helix, phospholipid bilayer, and the recognition of ligands with receptors. Inspired by nature, self-assembly techniques have been developed for decades. Rationally-designed molecules could spontaneously assemble to uniform nanostructures through supramolecular interactions, which may be convenient to prepare nanoprobes for bio-imaging, or drug delivery systems. Molecules with specific functions (targeting, environmental responsive, cytotoxic, aggregation-induced emission (AIE), etc.) can be integrated into the nanostructures, giving the nanostructures those corresponding functions for biomedical applications.

Many reported biomedical nanomaterials need multiple steps to prepare, and functionalizing these nanomaterials need complex synthesis, which limit their potential application in clinic. The goal of this Research Topic is to prepare functional nanostructures (liposome, micelle, nanofibers, etc.) by making full use of supramolecular self-assembly techniques. The prepared nanostructures may have targeting, environmental responsiveness, or other functions, which can overcome some drawbacks (eg. lack of targeting, low encapsulation efficiency, complex preparation procedures, etc.) of current nanomaterials. To achieve these aims, the functional molecules (building blocks) should be rationally selected and designed; the prepared nanostructures should have uniform morphology with enough stability; the functions of these nanostructures can meet the demand of bio-imaging, drug delivery or other bio-medical applications.

In this Research Topic, authors are encouraged to construct self-assembled nanostructures by using rational designed functional molecules. The type of supramolecular interactions forming the nanostructures should be clarified. The prepared nanostructures can (or have the potential to) achieve bio-imaging (MRI, CT, fluorescence, etc.), drug (small molecules, genes, proteins) delivery or other bio-medical applications. The scope includes the following areas:

1) Molecular design and self-assembly
2) Mechanism investigation (simulation) of self-assembled structures
3) Targeting bio-imaging or drug delivery
4) Aggregation-induced emission (AIE) nanostructures
5) Environmental (pH, enzyme, light, ultrasound, etc.) responsive nanostructures
6) Self-assembly based hydrogels


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