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Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2009;48(22):3924-77. doi: 10.1002/anie.200802947.

Binding mechanisms in supramolecular complexes.

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Organische Chemie, Universit├Ąt des Saarlandes, 66041 Saarbr├╝cken, Deutschland.


Supramolecular chemistry has expanded dramatically in recent years both in terms of potential applications and in its relevance to analogous biological systems. The formation and function of supramolecular complexes occur through a multiplicity of often difficult to differentiate noncovalent forces. The aim of this Review is to describe the crucial interaction mechanisms in context, and thus classify the entire subject. In most cases, organic host-guest complexes have been selected as examples, but biologically relevant problems are also considered. An understanding and quantification of intermolecular interactions is of importance both for the rational planning of new supramolecular systems, including intelligent materials, as well as for developing new biologically active agents.

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