SCIENTIA SINICA Chimica, Volume 49 , Issue 5 : 811-820(2019) https://doi.org/10.1360/N032018-00234

Supramolecular medicine of calixarenes

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  • ReceivedOct 29, 2018
  • AcceptedDec 4, 2018
  • PublishedFeb 27, 2019


Supramolecular medicine is the application of the concept of supramolecular chemistry to serve modern medicine. Calixarene, as one of important artificial macrocyclic receptors, plays an important role in the development of supramolecular chemistry and supramolecular medicine. This review introduced the basic concepts of supramolecular medicine and calixarene, their corresponding development, and summarized our progress in calixarene-based supramolecular medicine including disease diagnosis, bio-imaging, drug discovery and drug delivery, as well as the representative results of other research groups. Finally, the healthy and orderly development of calixarenes in modern medicine was considered, and the future development and application of supramolecular medicine of calixarenes were prospected.

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  • Figure 1

    Chemical structure and schematic illustration of calixarene (color online).

  • Figure 2

    Schematic representation of (a) fluorescence ‘‘switch-on’’ indicator displacement assay (IDA) based on calixarene and (b) supramolecular tandem assay [23,28] (color online).

  • Figure 3

    (a) Schematic illustration of the binding between LPA and GC5A and the operating IDA principle of fluorescence “switch-on” sensing of LPA by the GC5A•Fl reporter pair. (b) The set-up calibration line of the fluorescence intensity for quantitatively determining the LPA concentrations in serum. (c) Comparison of fluorescence signals between blood samples of ovarian cancer mice and normal mice [24] (color online).

  • Figure 4

    (a) Schematic illustration of cross-linking between calix[4]arene micelles and cyanine dyes to form calix[4]arene organic quantum dots. (b) Fluorescence confocal imaging of cells using calix[4]arene organic quantum dots. Reproduced with permission from ref [32]. Copyright 2016 John Wiley & Sons (color online).

  • Figure 5

    The supramolecular imaging system of sulfonatocalix[4]arene•lucigenin using IDA principle to monitor biomolecule uptake of cells. Reproduced with permission from ref [33]. Copyright 2015 John Wiley & Sons (color online).

  • Figure 6

    The toxicity mechanism of viologen and the application of sulfonatocalix[4]arene in supramolecular detoxification. Reproduced with permission from ref [39]. Copyright 2009 American Chemical Society (color online).

  • Figure 7

    Schematic illustration of the cholinesterase-responsive binary supramolecular vesicle system constructed by sulfonatocalix[4]arene and myristoylcholine. Reproduced with permission from ref [48]. Copyright 2012 American Chemical Society (color online).

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