The design of molecular hosts, guests, and their complexes

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Science  06 May 1988:
Vol. 240, Issue 4853, pp. 760-767
DOI: 10.1126/science.3283937


The origins, definitions, tools, and guiding principles of host-guest chemistry are developed. Perching, nesting, and capsular complexes are exemplified through molecular model and crystal structure comparisons. The degree of preorganization of a host for binding is a central determinant of its binding power. Complementarity of binding site placement in host and guest is a central determinant of structural recognition in complexation. Examples are given of chiral recognition in complexation, of partial transacylase mimics, of caviplexes, and of a synthetic molecular cell.