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Vesicles in Supramolecular Chemistry


  1. Bart Jan Ravoo

Published Online: 15 MAR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9780470661345.smc032

Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials

Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials

How to Cite

Ravoo, B. J. 2012. Vesicles in Supramolecular Chemistry. Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials. .

Author Information

  1. Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Münster, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2012


Vesicles are self-assembled nanoscale capsules consisting of a molecular layer enclosing an inner solvent compartment. Vesicles have been a versatile topic in supramolecular chemistry ever since the discovery that, besides phospholipids, also synthetic amphiphiles can form vesicles in aqueous solution. Vesicles are highly dynamic supramolecular structures that have been subject of investigation by many chemists over the last three decades. In particular, the range of building blocks for vesicles has expanded from “conventional” (i.e., phospholipid-like) amphiphiles to block copolymers, giant amphiphiles, and supramolecular amphiphiles. Increasingly, vesicles are also assembled from nonconventional (i.e., non-amphiphilic) components in aqueous as well as organic solvents. Vesicles can be tailor-made to respond to external stimuli. Vesicles are also highly interesting biomimetic structures: molecular recognition of vesicles is a powerful model system for molecular recognition of biological membranes.


  • amphiphiles;
  • bilayers;
  • membranes;
  • polymersomes;
  • vesicles