Supramolecular Kandinsky circles with high antibacterial activity

Heng Wang, Xiaomin Qian, Kun Wang, Ma Su, Wei Wei Haoyang, Xin Jiang, Robert Brzozowski, Ming Wang, Xiang Gao, Yiming Li, Bingqian Xu, Prahathees Eswara, Xin Qi Hao, Weitao Gong, Jun Li Hou, Jianfeng Cai, Xiaopeng Li

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81 Scopus citations


Nested concentric structures widely exist in nature and designed systems with circles, polygons, polyhedra, and spheres sharing the same center or axis. It still remains challenging to construct discrete nested architecture at (supra)molecular level. Herein, three generations (G2-G4) of giant nested supramolecules, or Kandinsky circles, have been designed and assembled with molecular weight 17,964, 27,713 and 38,352 Da, respectively. In the ligand preparation, consecutive condensation between precursors with primary amines and pyrylium salts is applied to modularize the synthesis. These discrete nested supramolecules are prone to assemble into tubular nanostructures through hierarchical self-assembly. Furthermore, nested supramolecules display high antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive pathogen methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and negligible toxicity to eukaryotic cells, while the corresponding ligands do not show potent antimicrobial activity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1815
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


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