Organic/inorganic supramolecular nano-systems based on host/guest interactions

Xi Yang, Di Yuan, Jinhong Hou, Adam C. Sedgwick, Suying Xu, Tony D. James, Leyu Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Citations (SciVal)


Since the first demonstration of synthetic host/guest chemistry, the area of supramolecular chemistry has rapidly expanded and become highly influential in the areas of biomedicine, energy materials, catalysis and sensing. In recent years, the use of host/guest chemistry in combination with functional inorganic nanoparticles has resulted in many new applications such as drug delivery, bioimaging and sensing. In this review, we have summarized some of the recent progress that has been made towards the development of organic/inorganic supramolecular nano-systems, which incorporate host/guest chemistry. Initially, we introduce the common receptors and guest molecules that are used in this area, then we discuss the strategies that have been used to construct the supramolecular-based nano-systems using these receptors and guest molecules (host/guest chemistry). With the foundations to these systems discussed, we then highlight the applications of these unique supramolecular systems in the fields of drug delivery, biological imaging, and sensing. Overall, this review is intended to provide a guide on how to combine functional nanomaterials with host/guest chemistry to form supramolecular-based constructs for biological applications. We hope that reading this review will encourage others to explore this rich and exciting area and develop more new systems that could be important to the fields of supramolecular chemistry, materials science, and biomedicine.

Original languageEnglish
Article number213609
JournalCoordination Chemistry Reviews
Early online date13 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


  • Bioimaging
  • Drug delivery
  • Host/guest chemistry
  • Organic/inorganic supramolecular nano-systems
  • Sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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