Project Research Center for Fundamental Sciences, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University Harada Group
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Molecular recognition is seen with the bare eye

We find that two gels join together strongly only by contacting the host (cyclodextrin, CD)-bearing gel with the guest-bearing gel. Moreover, adhesion and dissociation of the gels are controllable by exogenous stimuli, such as light, solvent composition, temperature, pH, and redox. The adhesion of gels can be accomplished by not only by molecule recognition but also by a coordinate bond, a hydrogen bond, and a covalent bond.

Macroscopic self-assembly through molecular recognition
Photoswitchable gel assembly based on molecular recognition
Switching of macroscopic molecular recognition selectivity using a mixed solvent system
Temperature-Sensitive Macroscopic Assembly Based on Molecular Recognition
pH-Responsive Self-Assembly by Molecular Recognition on a Macroscopic Scale
Reversible self-assembly of gels through metal-ligand interactions
An ion-responsive gel sticking to a target surface

Macroscopic self-assembly through molecular recognition

We prepared β-cyclodextrin gel (β-CD-gel) and adamantine gel (Ad-gel).
β-CD-gel was found to bind Ad-gel strongly through molecular recognition. In addition, a mixture of pieces of α-CD-gel, β-CD-gel, n-Bu-gel and t-Bu-gel exhibited excellent fidelity only by mixing and shaking in water; α-CD-gel specifically adhered to n-Bu-gel, and β-CD-gel selectively adhered to t-Bu-gel to form macroscopic self-assemblies.
 
Harada, A.; Kobayashi, R.; Takashima, Y.; Hashidzume, A.; Yamaguchi, H., Nature Chem. 2011, 3, 34-37.
Yamaguchi, H.; Kobayashi, R.; Takashima, Y.; Hashidzume, A.; Harada, A., Macromolecules 2011, 44 (8), 2395-2399.
Zheng, Y.; Hashidzume, A.; Takashima, Y.; Yamaguchi, H.; Harada, A, Langmuir 2011, 27(22), 13790-13795.
Nature (Highlight), Chemistry World, etc.

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