2006 lecture

Molecular Capsules, Jerry Atwood

Wednesday, March 15, Prof. Jerry Atwood from the University of Missouri, United States, presentes the Hendrik de Waard lecture. The topic was 'Molecular Capsules'. These are non-covalently bound supramolecular structures, encapsulating tiny amounts of material. Fascinating possible applications are possible in medicine, where it is useful to be able to release medicine at a specific location. The lecture, in the aula of the central university building, Broerstraat 5, Groningen, was attended by approximately 70 people.

Jerry Atwood

Jerry L. Atwood has been Professor and Chairman at the University of Missouri since 1994. Research in the Atwood group revolves around various aspects of supramolecular chemistry including self-assembly of noncovalent capsules, liquid clathrate chemistry, and the design and synthesis of anion-binding hosts.

More information on Jerry Atwood can be found at www.chem.missouri.edu/faculty/atwood


Molecular Capsules

Jerry L. Atwood

The enclosure of chemical space is one of the essential attributes of a biological system. We have previously shown that macrocycles can serve as building blocks for very large assemblies. In particular, calixarenes and resorcinarenes may be used to enclose space in a manner consistent with the principles of solid geometry attributed to Plato and to Archimedes. The ability of macrocycles to effect the construction of hydrogen-bonded spherical molecular capsules is due to focused functionality. Aided by the concepts of solid geometry and by an understanding of focused functionality, we have now prepared a range of new, very large capsules. The use of pyrogallol[4]arenes to form hexamer 3 is particularly noteworthy. These hydrogen bonded molecular capsules are both stable and soluble in water. We have also developed a range of single-molecule molecular capsules, which are sealed by hydrogen bonds. More recently, we have used Cu2+ and Ga3+ ions to replace some or all of the hydrogen bonds, affording robust capsules. Applications of these capsules in drug delivery are being investigated. New developments in the application of molecular capsules as reaction vessels will be reported. References to published work in this area are given below.

  • [1] MacGillivray, Atwood, Nature 1997, 389, 469.
  • [2] MacGillivray, Atwood, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 1999, 38, 1018.
  • [3] Atwood, Barbour, Jerga, Chem. Comm. 2001, 2376.
  • [4] Atwood, Barbour, Jerga, Science, 2003, 296, 2367.
  • [5] Atwood, Szumna, Chem. Comm. 2003, 940.
  • [6] Atwood, Barbour, Dalgarno, Hardie, Raston, Webb, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2004, 126, 13170.
  • [7] Cave, Antesberger, Barbour, McKinlay, Atwood, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 2004, 43, 5263.
  • [8] McKinlay, Cave, Atwood, 2005, PNAS, 102, 5944.
  • [9] McKinlay, Thallapally, Cave, Atwood, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 2005, 44, 2.
  • [10] Dalgarno, Tucker, Bassil, Atwood, Science 2005, 309, 2037.