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Keywords:

  • cell recognition;
  • cooperative phenomena;
  • multivalency;
  • receptors;
  • supramolecular chemistry

Abstract

Multivalent interactions can be applied universally for a targeted strengthening of an interaction between different interfaces or molecules. The binding partners form cooperative, multiple receptor–ligand interactions that are based on individually weak, noncovalent bonds and are thus generally reversible. Hence, multi- and polyvalent interactions play a decisive role in biological systems for recognition, adhesion, and signal processes. The scientific and practical realization of this principle will be demonstrated by the development of simple artificial and theoretical models, from natural systems to functional, application-oriented systems. In a systematic review of scaffold architectures, the underlying effects and control options will be demonstrated, and suggestions will be given for designing effective multivalent binding systems, as well as for polyvalent therapeutics.