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Science, South Korea

Baek K.,Korea Basic Science Institute | Baek K.,Center for Smart Supramolecules | Yun G.,Center for Smart Supramolecules | Kim Y.,Center for Smart Supramolecules | And 12 more authors.
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2013

The design and synthesis of two-dimensional (2D) polymers is a challenging task, hitherto achieved in solution only through the aid of a solid surface "template" or preorganization of the building blocks in a 2D confined space. We present a novel approach for synthesizing free-standing, covalently bonded, single-monomer-thick 2D polymers in solution without any preorganization of building blocks on solid surfaces or interfaces by employing shape-directed covalent self-assembly of rigid, disk-shaped building blocks having laterally predisposed reactive groups on their periphery. We demonstrate our strategy through a thiol-ene "click" reaction between (allyloxy) 12CB[6], a cucurbit[6]uril (CB[6]) derivative with 12 laterally predisposed reactive alkene groups, and 1,2-ethanedithiol to synthesize a robust and readily transferable 2D polymer. We can take advantage of the high binding affinity of fully protonated spermine (positive charges on both ends) to CB[6] to keep each individual polymer sheet separated from one another by electrostatic repulsion during synthesis, obtaining, for the first-time ever, a single-monomer-thick 2D polymer in solution. The arrangement of CB[6] repeating units in the resulting 2D polymer has been characterized using gold nanoparticle labeling and scanning transmission electron microscopy. Furthermore, we have confirmed the generality of our synthetic approach by applying it to different monomers to generate 2D polymers. Novel 2D polymers, such as our CB[6] derived polymer, may be useful in selective transport, controlled drug delivery, and chemical sensing and may even serve as well-defined 2D scaffolds for ordered functionalization and platforms for bottom-up 3D construction. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Park K.M.,Center for Smart Supramolecules | Yang J.-A.,Pohang University of Science and Technology | Jung H.,Pohang University of Science and Technology | Yeom J.,Pohang University of Science and Technology | And 6 more authors.
ACS Nano | Year: 2012

A facile in situ supramolecular assembly and modular modification of biocompatible hydrogels were demonstrated using cucurbit[6]uril-conjugated hyaluronic acid (CB[6]-HA), diaminohexane-conjugated HA (DAH-HA), and tags-CB[6] for cellular engineering applications. The strong and selective host-guest interaction between CB[6] and DAH made possible the supramolecular assembly of CB[6]/DAH-HA hydrogels in the presence of cells. Then, the 3D environment of CB[6]/DAH-HA hydrogels was modularly modified by the simple treatment with various multifunctional tags-CB[6]. Furthermore, we could confirm in situ formation of CB[6]/DAH-HA hydrogels under the skin of nude mice by sequential subcutaneous injections of CB[6]-HA and DAH-HA solutions. The fluorescence of modularly modified fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-CB[6] in the hydrogels was maintained for up to 11 days, reflecting the feasibility to deliver the proper cues for cellular proliferation and differentiation in the body. Taken together, CB[6]/DAH-HA hydrogels might be successfully exploited as a 3D artificial extracellular matrix for various tissue engineering applications. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

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