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Targeted Chemical Modifications Identify Key Features of Carbohydrate Assemblies and Generate Tailored Carbohydrate Materials

Soeun Gim, Giulio Fittolani, Yang Yu, Yuntao Zhu, , Yu Ogawa,
Published: 12 July 2021

Abstract: The molecular level description of carbohydrate assemblies is hampered by their structural complexity and the lack of suitable analytical methods. Here, we employed systematic chemical modifications to identify key non-covalent interactions that triggered the supramolecular assembly of a disaccharide model. While some modifications disrupted the supramolecular organization, others were tolerated, delivering important information on the aggregation process. The screening identified new geometries, including nanotubes, and twisted ribbons that were characterized with electron tomography and electron diffraction (ED) methods. This work demonstrates that the combination of synthetic chemistry and ED-methods is a powerful tool to draw correlations between the molecular structure and the nanoscale architecture of carbohydrate assemblies.
Keywords: Carbohydrate / Supramolecular assembly / Site-specific modifications / Electron diffraction / Electron tomography

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