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Viral-Capsid-Type Vesicle-Like Structures Assembled from M12L24 Metal–Organic Hybrid Nanocages


  • T.L. gratefully acknowledges support of this research by the NSF (CHE-0545983), the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and Lehigh University. We thank Dr. Norm Zheng for his generous help with DOSY NMR spectroscopic characterization.


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Without the thorn: In polar solvents, cationic M12L24 nanocages slowly assembled into hollow spherical “blackberry” structures, the size of which could be tuned by changing the counterion concentration or solvent polarity. The self-assembly process showed similar kinetic and thermodynamic features to viral-capsid formation. (Copyright (2005) National Academy of Sciences, USA. The image of the hepatitis B virus capsid is from the RCSB PDB (ID: 1QGT).)