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Supramolecular Chemistry in Polymer Networks

Soft Matter

  1. Pol Besenius1,
  2. Peter A. G. Cormack2

Published Online: 15 MAR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9780470661345.smc140

Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials

Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials

How to Cite

Besenius, P. and Cormack, P. A. G. 2012. Supramolecular Chemistry in Polymer Networks. Supramolecular Chemistry: From Molecules to Nanomaterials. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

  2. 2

    University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2012


Cross-linked organic materials or polymer networks have found numerous applications and technologies that are indispensable in everyday life. Networks formed via molecular recognition events that act as noncovalent cross-linkers exhibit rather unusual properties due to the dynamic character and tunable strength of the supramolecular interactions. In the first instance, we aim to introduce and discuss complementary functional groups that have been developed to allow for reversible network formation in bulk supramolecular materials. Thereafter, this chapter deals mainly with network formation in macroscopic and particulate gels. In both parts, we highlight how material properties at the meso- and macroscopic scales are governed by noncovalent forces on the molecular level, and how supramolecular interactions can offer opportunities in the fabrication of stimuli-responsive materials. Lead examples and applications are highlighted throughout, for example, in the development of thermoplastic elastomers, coatings, tissue engineering, and drug delivery technologies.


  • noncovalent polymerization;
  • reversible cross-linking;
  • dynamic functional materials;
  • responsive bulk polymers;
  • macroscopic and particulate gels