Carbohydrate based low molecular weight gelators have been an intense subject of study over the past decade. The self-assembling systems built from natural products have high significance as biocompatible materials and renewable resources. The versatile structures available from naturally existing monosaccharides have enriched the molecular libraries that can be used for the construction of gelators. The bottom-up strategy in designing low molecular weight gelators (LMWGs) for a variety of applications has been adopted by many researchers. Rational design, along with some serendipitous discoveries, has resulted in multiple classes of molecular gelators. This review covers the literature from 2017-2020 on monosaccharide based gelators, including common hexoses, pentoses, along with some disaccharides and their derivatives. The structure-based design and structure to gelation property relationships are reviewed first, followed by stimuli-responsive gelators. The last section focuses on the applications of the sugar based gelators, including their utilization in environmental remediation, ion sensing, catalysis, drug delivery and 3D-printing. We will also review the available LMWGs and their structure correlations to the desired properties for different applications. This review aims at elucidating the design principles and structural features that are pertinent to various applications and hope to provide certain guidelines for researchers that are working at the interface of chemistry, biochemistry, and materials science.
Original Publication Citation
Morris, J., Bietsch, J., Bashaw, K., & Wang, G. (2021). Recently developed carbohydrate based gelators and their applications. Gels, 7(1), 1-61, Article 24. https://doi.org/10.3390/gels7010024
Morris, Joedian; Bietsch, Jonathan; Bashaw, Kristen; and Wang, Guijun, "Recently Developed Carbohydrate Based Gelators and Their Applications" (2021). Chemistry & Biochemistry Faculty Publications. 194.