A combinatorial approach for the synthesis of supramolecular gelators as new organic materials is described herein. In the course of the development of a convenient and flexible solid-phase synthesis of the artificial glycolipids, some of these compounds were accidentally found to act as low molecular-weight gelators toward organic solvents. Using this combinatorial solid-phase synthesis of glycosylated amino acetates, screening and optimization of low molecular-weight organo/hydro-gelators were efficiently carried out. We found that an N-acetyl-galactosamine-appended amino acid ester (GalNAc-aa) efficiently gelates a broad spectrum of organic solvents. More interestingly, some GalNAc-aa derivatives displayed an excellent hydrogelation capability. Transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and FT-IR were used for characterization of the gel structure. It is indicated that supramolecular fibers supported by strong hydrogen-bonding networks are entangled so that the resulting spaces can immobilize a number of solvent molecules effectively. In addition, the supramolecular hydrogel consisting of GalNAc-sucglu(O-methyl-cyc-pentyl)2 is stable even under high salt concentrations probably due to its nonionic character and as a result, a native protein is successfully entrapped in the gel matrix without denaturation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organic Chemistry