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Review
. 2016 Feb 26;12:362-76.
doi: 10.3762/bjoc.12.40. eCollection 2016.

Art, Auto-Mechanics, and Supramolecular Chemistry. A Merging of Hobbies and Career

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Free PMC article
Review

Art, Auto-Mechanics, and Supramolecular Chemistry. A Merging of Hobbies and Career

Eric V Anslyn. Beilstein J Org Chem. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

While the strict definition of supramolecular chemistry is "chemistry beyond the molecule", meaning having a focus on non-covalent interactions, the field is primarily associated with the creation of synthetic receptors and self-assembly. For synthetic ease, the receptors and assemblies routinely possess a high degree of symmetry, which lends them an aspect of aesthetic beauty. Pictures of electron orbitals similarly can be seen as akin to works of art. This similarity was an early draw for me to the fields of supramolecular chemistry and molecular orbital theory, because I grew up in a household filled with art. In addition to art, my childhood was filled with repairing and constructing mechanical entities, such as internal combustion motors, where many components work together to achieve a function. Analogously, the field of supramolecular chemistry creates systems of high complexity that achieve functions or perform tasks. Therefore, in retrospect a career in supramolecular chemistry appears to be simply an extension of childhood hobbies involving art and auto-mechanics.

Keywords: art; assembly; complexity; function; mechanical; supramolecular.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
A) An Atwood Cluster, picture donated from Jerry Atwood. B) Vasarely serograph, personal photograph from EVA.
Figure 2
Figure 2
A) An airplane part air-brush rendering (S. S. Anslyn, 1950’s). B) A mural of a locomotive engine (S. S. Anslyn, 1971). C) A “destructo” created by Brian Heidsiek in approximately 1973. All graphics are personal photographs by EVA, who has the copyright to every photo used herein.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Representative crystal structures of various complexes we have created over the years, that in my own opinion are particularly beautiful. Collage reproduced with permission from renderings in reference [–21]. Copyright 1993, 2009, and 2012 The American Chemical Society.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Exploded view of a 1953 Mk VII Jaguar in-line six internal combustion motor (bottom end), overhauled by EVA in 1976. Personal photograph by EVA.
Figure 5
Figure 5
Kandinsky’s Concentric Circles. (http://amazinglittleartiststves.weebly.com/student-artwork/category/kandinsky) , with orbitals computed by John Stanton (personal communication). Collage created by EVA.
Figure 6
Figure 6
A potpourri of chemical receptor designs that influenced our group’s work 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8), along with a few of our own (3 and 4) [–45].
Figure 7
Figure 7
Evolution of design of our citrate receptor [–67].
Figure 8
Figure 8
Combinatorial peptide library designs used for differential sensing purposes [–94].
Figure 9
Figure 9
Concept behind the electronic tongue, with micromachined divets that hold beads placed in an array. While not micromachined, a much simpler analog that accomplishes much of the same concept is just a simple 96-well plate.
Figure 10
Figure 10
a) LDA plot of the response from different wine varietals with array Z [103]. b) Three-dimensional LDA plot of the response from the SOX-peptides showing in vitro differentiation of nine MAP kinases [106]. c) LDA plot of data collected from 96-well plates [107]. The array components consisted of BSA and HSA (100 µM), glyceride (90 µM), DNSA (60 µM), ANS (60 µM), NBD-FA (60 µM), metathesized glyceride (90 µM), AF (100 µM), and DNSA (60 µM) in phosphate buffer with <5% (v/v) THF. Cross-validation: 98%.
Figure 11
Figure 11
Two seemingly impossible targets to make highly selective receptors for.

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