The subtle performance of a virus is closely related to its specific hierarchical structure, which is composed of a rigid shell and transverse, responsive, nanometer-sized channels. Virus-like structured colloids are of great interest for their potential applications, for example in drug delivery. Adequate knowledge of the structure and composition control of both colloids and mesoporous materials is significant in the design and synthesis of hierarchically structured colloids to mimic viruses. Some recent developments in the synthesis of composite colloids and mesoporous materials are summarized. Template synthesis is a major tool to control both the macroscopic morphology and microstructures of these composites, in which gel colloids and supramolecular structures from amphiphilic species are used as templates.
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