The mechanical bond in biological systems

Sophie R. Beeren*, Charlie T. McTernan*, Fredrik Schaufelberger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewpeer-review

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The field of mechanically interlocked molecules (MIMs) has advanced rapidly in recent years, with much work focused on their use in materials, sensing, and catalysis. However, the use of MIMs in biology and biomedicine has been limited, despite the identification of naturally occurring MIMs in DNA and proteins and the potential advantages of the mechanical bond in fields such as nanomedicine and tissue engineering. Difficulties in the synthesis of MIMs, along with their limited solubility and stability in biological media, have until recently impeded their wider application in biology. Contemporary advances have, however, enabled a broader integration of the mechanical bond in biology; the mechanical interlocking endows these systems with unique functional advantages. Herein, we summarize recent advances in the application of small-molecule, biologically derived, and polymeric MIMs in biology, highlighting synergies ripe for future exploration.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1378-1412
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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