Supramolecular Dye Encapsulation

Supramolecular Dye Encapsulation

Author: Claire Cobley

Understanding the mechanisms that govern the encapsulation of guest molecules in supramolecular assemblies could provide useful insights for the design of future drug-delivery systems.

With this in mind, Gustavo Fernández and co-workers, Universität Würzburg, Germany, investigated the self-assembly of an amphiphilic oligophenyleneethynylene (OPE)-4,4-difluoro-4-bora-3a,4a-diaza-s-indacene (BODIPY) derivative in the presence of different guest molecules under aqueous conditions. Interestingly, they found that the size of the guest had a dramatic effect on the aggregation mechanism and the final morphology.

Without any guest molecules, flexible fiber-like assemblies formed. When the aromatic dye tetracene was encapsulated by the assemblies, it increased the rigidity of the fibers through increased π-π and hydrophobic interactions. However, if a slightly smaller aromatic dye, anthracene, was introduced instead, the BODIPY derivatives and guest dyes co-assembled into spherical micelles through a two-step process.

H-Aggregates of Oligophenyleneethynylene (OPE)-BODIPY Systems in Water


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