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Cyclodextrins: From Nature to Nanotechnology

Molecular Recognition

  1. Stephen F. Lincoln,
  2. Duc-Truc Pham

Published Online: 15 MAR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9780470661345.smc055

Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials

Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials

How to Cite

Lincoln, S. F. and Pham, D.-T. 2012. Cyclodextrins: From Nature to Nanotechnology. Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials. .

Author Information

  1. University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2012


Cyclodextrins (CDs) are naturally occurring homochiral macrocycles composed of α-1,4-linked d-glucopyranose in the 4C1 conformation. The three smallest α-, β-, and γ-CDs are composed of 6, 7, and 8 glucopyranoses, and as a class constitute one of the most widely used molecular components in supramolecular chemistry. This usage is based on the ability of CDs to complex a vast range of guests in their hydrophobic annuli in water. In this brief review, CD supramolecular chemistry is explored from simple CD complexes to increasingly complex assemblies. The modification of CDs to give desirable properties is also examined along with their supramolecular chemistry. This exploration encompasses CD host–guest complexes, enantioselectivity, polymers, catalysis, metallocyclodextrins, rotaxanes and catenanes, and molecular devices and nanomachines, some of which mimic Nature and all of which represent a fascinating aspect of supramolecular chemistry with some extraordinary possibilities for further advances and practical application.


  • cyclodextrin;
  • enantioselectivity;
  • host–guest complex;
  • molecular device;
  • nanomachine;
  • rotaxane;
  • supramolecular