Encapsulation of Guest Molecules into a Dendritic Box

Science  18 Nov 1994:
Vol. 266, Issue 5188, pp. 1226-1229
DOI: 10.1126/science.266.5188.1226


Dendrimers are well-defined, highly branched macromolecules that emanate from a central core and are synthesized through a stepwise, repetitive reaction sequence. The synthesis and characterization of dendritic boxes, based on the construction of a chiral shell of protected amino acids onto poly(propyleneimine) dendrimers with 64 amine end groups, is reported here. Nuclear magnetic resonance-relaxation and optical data show that a dense shell with solid-phase character is formed. Guest molecules were captured within the internal cavities of the boxes when these boxes were constructed in the presence of guest molecules. The diffusion of guest molecules out of the boxes into solution was unmeasurably slow because of the close packing of the shell. These monomolecular dendritic containers of 5-nanometer dimensions with physically locked-in guest molecules were characterized spectroscopically.