Simultaneous Organic and Inorganic Host-Guest Chemistry within Pillararene-Protein Cage Frameworks

Ahmed Shaukat, Eduardo Anaya-Plaza, Ngong Kodiah Beyeh, Mauri A. Kostiainen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
96 Downloads (Pure)


Supramolecular self-assembly of biomolecules provides a powerful bottom-up strategy to build functional nanostructures and materials. Among the different biomacromolecules, protein cages offer various advantages including uniform size, versatility, multi-modularity, and high stability. Additionally, protein cage crystals present confined microenvironments with well-defined dimensions. On the other hand, molecular hosts, such as cyclophanes, possess a defined cavity size and selective recognition of guest molecules. However, the successful combination of macrocycles and protein cages to achieve functional co-crystals has remained limited. In this study, we demonstrate electrostatic binding between cationic pillar[5]arenes and (apo)ferritin cages that results in porous and crystalline frameworks. The electrostatically assembled crystals present a face-centered cubic (FCC) lattice and have been characterized by means of small-angle X-ray scattering and cryo-TEM. These hierarchical structures result in a multiadsorbent framework capable of hosting both organic and inorganic pollutants, such as dyes and toxic metals, with potential application in water-remediation technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202104341
Number of pages7
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number11
Early online date2 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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