A cavitand is a container shaped molecule.[2] The cavity of the cavitand allows it to engage in host-guest chemistry with guest molecules of a complementary shape and size. Examples include cyclodextrins, calixarenes, pillararenes and cucurbiturils.

Applications of Cavitands

Specific cavitands form the basis of rigid templates onto which de novo proteins can be chemically linked. This template assembled synthetic protein (TASP) structure provides a platform for the study of protein structure.[3]

Silicon surfaces functionalized with tetraphosphonate cavitands have been used to singularly detect sarcosine in water and urine solutions.[4]

See also


  1. Freeman, Wade A. (1984). "Structures of the p-xylylenediammonium chloride and calcium hydrogensulfate adducts of the cavitand 'cucurbituril', C36H36N24O12". Acta Crystallogr B. 40: 382–387. doi:10.1107/S0108768184002354.
  2. D. J. Cram (1983). "Cavitands: organic hosts with enforced cavities". Science. 219 (4589): 1177–1183. Bibcode:1983Sci...219.1177C. doi:10.1126/science.219.4589.1177. PMID 17771285.
  3. Tuchscherer, Gabriele (April 20, 1999). "Extending the concept of template-assembled synthetic proteins". J. Peptide Res. 54: 185–194.
  4. Biavardi, Elisa (February 14, 2011). "Exclusive recognition of sarcosine in water and urine by a cavitand-functionalized silicon surface". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 109 (7): 2263–2268. Bibcode:2012PNAS..109.2263B. doi:10.1073/pnas.1112264109. PMC 3289311. PMID 22308349. Retrieved July 7, 2016.
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