Biomaterials based on noncovalent interactions of small molecules

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Jiaqi Guo
Changhao Tian
Bing Xu


Unlike conventional materials that covalent bonds connecting atoms as the major force to hold the materials together, supramolecular biomaterials rely on noncovalent intermolecular interactions to assemble. The reversibility and biocompatibility of supramolecular biomaterials render them with diverse range of functions and lead to rapid development in the past two decades. This review focuses on the noncovalent and enzymatic control of supramolecular biomaterials, with the introduction to various triggering mechanism to initiate self-assembly. Representative applications of supramolecular biomaterials are highlighted in four categories: tissue engineering, cancer therapy, drug delivery, and molecular imaging. By introducing various applications, we intend to show enzymatic control and noncovalent interactions as a powerful tool for achieving spatiotemporal control of biomaterials both in vitro and in vivo for biomedicine.

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How to Cite
Guo, J., Tian, C., & Xu, B. (2020). Biomaterials based on noncovalent interactions of small molecules. EXCLI Journal, 19, 1124-1140.
Review articles