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Molecular Assembly and Encapsulation Directed by Hydrogen-Bonding Preferences and the Filling of Space

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Science  18 Sep 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5384, pp. 1842-1845
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5384.1842

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Abstract

Multiple copies of a molecule, held together in finite aggregates, give rise to properties and functions that are unique to their assembled states. Because these aggregates are held together by weak forces operating over short distances, a premium is placed on complementarity: The molecular surfaces must facilitate specific interactions that direct the assembly to one aggregate rather than another. Hydrogen-bonding preferences can be combined with molecular curvature to favor the assembly of four self-complementary subunits into a pseudo-spherical capsule. Filling the capsule with smaller, complementary molecules provides the final instruction for the assembly process.

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