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Polyrotaxanes and the Pump Paradigm

A tutorial review entitled “Polyrotaxanes and the Pump Paradigm” has been published in Chemical Society Reviews, marking yet another fruitful collaboration between the Stoddart Group and Professor Dean Astumian at the University of Maine.

In the review, the team gives their hot take on the key breakthroughs in polyrotaxane science that have arrived on the scene one after the other since the first report of such molecules 30 years ago. Central to the piece is the proposition that the development of rotaxane-forming molecular pumps over the past decade is now expanding the range of synthetically accessible polyrotaxane combinations in mind-blowing ways. Molecular pumps, furthermore, allow synthesis of highly non-equilibrium polyrotaxanes that can act as molecular compartments for the storage of macrocycles. This is an especially prescient development in nanotechnology given the conceptual similarity between such artificial, polyrotaxane-based compartments and their natural counterparts—cells.

This tutorial review is intended as a concise and straightforward introduction to polyrotaxanes suitable for chemists at a variety of career stages from undergraduate to professional. We hope you enjoy it!

Pictured below — lead author James Seale alongside a graphical abstract for the recent Tutorial Review in Chemistry Society Reviews: