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Publication Date




Publication Title

ACS Omega








Glycolipids with diacetylene functional groups are fascinating compounds with many practical uses. Among these, diacetylene-containing gelators are especially important because they can form photopolymerizable gels, which are useful stimuli-responsive materials. Inspired by the unique properties of diacetylene-containing gelators and to understand the structural influences especially the location of the diacetylene functional groups on the self-assembling properties, a series of 15 novel N-acetyl-d-glucosamine derivatives with the diacetylene functional group introduced at the anomeric position were designed and synthesized. The diacetylene function is attached to the sugar through α-glycosylation with the distance from the anomeric oxygen being varied from one, two, and three methylene groups, and the other side contains hydroxyl, carboxyl, phenyl, and alkyl substituents. Remarkably, all compounds can form self-assembled gels in one or more selected solvents. A majority of these synthesized diacetylene glycosides are effective gelators for ethanol/water (v/v 1:1), dimethyl sulfoxide/water (v/v 1:1), and toluene, and one compound also formed a hydrogel at 1.0 wt %. Typically, these glycosides form gels that are photopolymerizable to afford red-colored gels. Scanning electronic microscopy indicated that the gelators formed helices, fibers, and planar sheet-like morphologies. The chemical structures of the derivatives affected their gelation properties and responses to UV treatment. The carboxylic acid-functionalized derivative 17 was able to immobilize basic solutions and form transparent gels. We expect that these diacetylene glycosides especially the hydroxyl and carboxylic acid derivatives will be useful as stimuli-responsive glycolipids for biomedical research.


Copyright © 2022 The Authors.

Published under the terms of the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license.

Original Publication Citation

Wang, G., Wang, D., Chen, A., Okafor, I. S., & Samankumara, L. P. (2022). Design and synthesis of α-anomeric diacetylene-containing glycosides as photopolymerizable molecular gelators. ACS Omega, 7(13), 11330-11342.


0000-0002-8943-9663 (Chen), 0000-0003-3822-2699 (Okafor)