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Molecular Engineering of Carbohydrate Recognition

Von Wiley-VCH zur Verfügung gestellt

The recognition of carbohydrates has been of growing interest in the supramolecular chemistry field, with specific relevance for numerous potential applications. At the same time, the binding many of carbohydrates in water selectively and with high affinity still presents a number of practical challenges that inspire ongoing research efforts toward new classes of bio-inspired synthetic receptors.


Carbohydrates play a number of structural, functional, and metabolic roles in underpinning natural life processes, acting in states of both health and disease. Given this importance, over millions of years of evolution, living systems have developed an ability to recognize and bind carbohydrates, achieving remarkable recognition affinity and specificity in spite of the often hydrophilic and ubiquitous character of carbohydrate targets. In recent years, bio-inspired synthetic receptors have been developed to bind carbohydrates, with examples of (pseudo)temple-shaped receptors, flexible receptors, and dynamic-covalent/coordinative receptors reported. Certain of these have even demonstrated promising results, for example in binding glucose or exhibiting antiviral and antibiotic function. Accordingly, and in spite of remaining challenges, the development of synthetic receptors for carbohydrate recognition holds great promise to combat some of the most urgent problems facing our world today.

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