Self-assembly of Amphiphilic Molecules

Authored by: Domenico Lombardo , Maria Teresa Caccamo , Pietro Calandra

21 Century Nanoscience – A Handbook

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  November  2019

Print ISBN: 9780815392330
eBook ISBN: 9780367341558
Adobe ISBN:


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Amphiphiles are synthetic or natural molecules with the ability to self-assemble into a wide variety of structures including micelles, vesicles, nanotubes, nanofibers and lamellae. While amphiphile self-assembly has attracted considerable attention for decades due to their extensive applications in material science and in drug and gene delivery, recent developments in nanoscience stimulated the combination of the simple approaches of amphiphile assembly with the advanced concept of supramolecular chemistry for the development of more complex and hierarchical nanostructures. Self-assembly processes of amphiphiles have been widely used to mimic biological systems, where assemblies of different amphiphilic macro-components and their integrated actions allow the performance of highly specific biological functions. Introduction of stimulus responsive supramolecular (assembly/disassembly) processes provides novel approaches for impacting bio-nanotechnology applications. In this perspective, this chapter shows the basic concepts and recent researches on self-assembly processes involved in traditional amphiphilic molecules (such as surfactants, amphiphile-like polymers or lipids). It also presents some recent concepts of supramolecular amphiphiles self-assembly which have become increasingly important in emerging nanotechnology.

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