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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(1), 1541-1565; doi:10.3390/ijms14011541

Aqueous Self-Sorting in Extended Supramolecular Aggregates

Institut für Organische Chemie and Center for Nanosystems Chemistry, Universität Würzburg Am Hubland, 97074 Würzburg, Germany
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 December 2012 / Revised: 27 December 2012 / Accepted: 4 January 2013 / Published: 14 January 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Self-Assembly 2012)


Self-organization and self-sorting processes are responsible for the regulation and control of the vast majority of biological processes that eventually sustain life on our planet. Attempts to unveil the complexity of these systems have been devoted to the investigation of the binding processes between artificial molecules, complexes or aggregates within multicomponent mixtures, which has facilitated the emergence of the field of self-sorting in the last decade. Since, artificial systems involving discrete supramolecular structures, extended supramolecular aggregates or gel-phase materials in organic solvents or—to a lesser extent—in water have been investigated. In this review, we have collected diverse strategies employed in recent years to construct extended supramolecular aggregates in water upon self-sorting of small synthetic molecules. We have made particular emphasis on co-assembly processes in binary mixtures leading to supramolecular structures of remarkable complexity and the influence of different external variables such as solvent and concentration to direct recognition or discrimination processes between these species. The comprehension of such recognition phenomena will be crucial for the organization and evolution of complex matter.
Keywords: supramolecular chemistry; self-sorting; self-assembly; co-aggregation supramolecular chemistry; self-sorting; self-assembly; co-aggregation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Rest, C.; Mayoral, M.J.; Fernández, G. Aqueous Self-Sorting in Extended Supramolecular Aggregates. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 1541-1565.

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