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Author: Ken Cham-Fai Leung (46)


Feb
2018

Type III-B rotaxane dendrimers (T3B-RDs) are hyperbranched macromolecules with mechanical bonds on every branching unit. Here we demonstrate the design, synthesis, and characterization of first to third (G1-G3), and up to the fourth (G4) generation (MW > 22,000 Da) of pure organic T3B-RDs and dendrons through the copper-catalyzed alkyne-azide cycloaddition (CuAAC) reaction. By utilizing multiple molecular shuttling of the mechanical bonds within the sphere-like macromolecule, a collective three-dimensional contract-extend molecular motion is demonstrated by diffusion ordered spectroscopy (DOSY) and atomic force microscopy (AFM).

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Sep
2017

Severe gum disease (periodontitis), which is one of the major global oral diseases, results from microbe-host dysbiosis and dysregulated immuno-inflammatory responses. It seriously affects oral health and general wellbeing with significant socio-economic implications. It has been well documented that natural flavonoids such as baicalin (BA) and baicalein (BE) possess potent anti-inflammatory effects.

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Jun
2017

Alkyl groups (CH) are prevalent in engineered bionanomaterials used for many intracellular applications, yet how alkyl groups dictate the interactions between nanoparticles and mammalian cells remains incomprehensively investigated. In this work, we report the effect of alkylation on the cellular uptake of densely polyethylene glycol-coated nanoparticles, which are characterized by their limited entry into mammalian cells. Specifically, we prepare densely PEGylated gold nanoparticles that bear alkyl chains of varying carbon chain lengths (n) and loading densities (termed "alkyl-PEG-AuNPs"), followed by investigating their uptake by Kera-308 keratinocytes.

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Oct
2016

Biomedical applications of non-spherical nanoparticles such as photothermal therapy and molecular imaging require their efficient intracellular delivery, yet reported details on their interactions with the cell remain inconsistent. Here, the effects of nanoparticle geometry and receptor targeting on the cellular uptake and intracellular trafficking are systematically explored by using C166 (mouse endothelial) cells and gold nanoparticles of four different aspect ratios (ARs) from 1 to 7. When coated with poly(ethylene glycol) strands, the cellular uptake of untargeted nanoparticles monotonically decreases with AR.

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Dec
1969

We reported two forms (sphere and wire) of newly fabricated chlorhexidine (CHX)-loaded mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs), and investigated their releasing capacities and anti-biofilm efficiencies. The interactions of the blank MSNs with planktonic oral microorganisms were assessed by field emission scanning electron microscopy. The anti-biofilm effects of the two forms of nanoparticle-encapsulated CHX were examined by 2,3-bis (2-methoxy- 4-nitro-5-sulfo-phenyl)-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxanilide.

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Mar
2016

Rotaxane organocatalysis presents a new direction toward controlled one-pot catalytic reactions. By combining molecular switches and catalysts, fluorescence and pH-responsive switching along with the exclusive selectivity of dual catalytic reactions are demonstrated. A newly designed [2]rotaxane catalyst containing an anthracene group was used to visualize the catalytic reaction process upon switching the macrocycle.

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Feb
2016

This account provides an overview of current research activities that focus on the synthesis and applications of nanomaterials from noble metal (e.g., Au, Ag, Pd) and iron oxide (Fe3O4) hybrids.

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Oct
2016

Oral mucosa as the front-line barrier in the mouth is constantly exposed to a complex microenvironment with multitudinous microbes. In this study, the interactions of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) with primary human gingival epithelial cells were analyzed for up to 72 h, and their diffusion capacity in the reconstructed human gingival epithelia (RHGE) and porcine ear skin models was further assessed at 24 h. It was found that the synthesized fluorescent mesoporous silica nanoparticles (RITC-NPs) with low cytotoxicity could be uptaken, degraded, and/or excreted by the human gingival epithelial cells.

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Apr
2016

(SB) is a traditional Chinese medicine for treating infectious and inflammatory diseases. Our recent study shows potent antibacterial effects of nanoparticle-encapsulated chlorhexidine (Nano-CHX). Herein, we explored the synergistic effects of the nanoparticle-encapsulated SB (Nano-SB) and Nano-CHX on oral bacterial biofilms.

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Dec
1969

The fluorescent carbon dot (C-dot) is a new class of carbon nanomaterials. It has a discrete or quasispherical structure, typically measures less than 10 nm and contains sp(2)/sp(3) carbon, oxygen/nitrogen-based groups and surface-modified functional groups. Compared with semiconductor quantum dots (QDs), C-dots offer much lower toxicity and a better biocompatibility profile.

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Jul
2015

Photoluminescent carbon dots (CDs) have received ever-increasing attention in the application of optical bioimaging because of their low toxicity, tunable fluorescent properties, and ultracompact size. We report for the first time on enhanced photoluminescence (PL) performance influenced by structure effects among the various types of nitrogen doped (N-doped) PL CDs. These CDs were facilely synthesized from condensation carbonization of linear polyethylenic amine (PEA) analogues and citric acid (CA) of different ratios.

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Jun
2015

This paper describes comparative studies in cytotoxicities, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and gene delivery into glioblastoma U87MG or U138MG cells with ternary composites that are consist of superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoparticles (NPs) (size: 8-10 nm) with different surface coatings, circular plasmid DNA (pDNA) (~4 kb) equipped with fluorescent/luminescent probe, and branched polyethylenimine (25 kDa, PDI 2.5).
Three types of SPIO-NPs were used, including: (I) naked iron oxide NPs with Fe-OH surface group (Bare-NP); (II) iron oxide NPs with a coating of alginate (Alg-NPs); and (III) iron oxide NPs with a coating of deferoxamine (Def-NPs).

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May
2015

A novel rod-like β-FeOOH@poly(dopamine)-Au-poly(dopamine) nanocomposite is developed for recyclable catalysis. Firstly, the rod-like β-FeOOH template was coated in situ by a layer of poly(dopamine) (PDA) to form a core/shell nanostructure. Then the negatively charged Au nanocatalysts were well-immobilized onto the periphery of the β-FeOOH@PDA nanorod.

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May
2015

To increase the monodispersity of magnetic hybrid nanocomposites, a novel ultrasonic method was introduced to synthesize uniform Fe3O4@SiO2-Ag nanospheres. The immobilized Ag nanocrystals were tunable by varying the experimental conditions. An antibacterial assay indicated that the Fe3O4@SiO2-Ag nanospheres exhibited excellent antibacterial activities against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli, in which the minimum inhibition concentrations (MIC) were 40 μg mL(-1) and 20 μg mL(-1), respectively.

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Apr
2015

A new [2]pseudorotaxane DB24C8⊃1-H · PF6 with dibenzo[24]crown-8 (DB24C8) crown ether-dibenzylammonium (1-H · PF6) binding which was formed by slippage approach at different solvents and temperature, had been isolated and characterized by NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. The [2]pseudorotaxane DB24C8⊃1-H · PF6 was stable at room temperature. The dissociation rate of [2]pseudorotaxane DB24C8⊃1-H · PF6 could be tuned by using different stimuli such as triethylamine (TEA)/diisopropylethylamine (DIPEA) and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO).

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Dec
1969

Chlorhexidine (CHX) is a widely used antimicrobial agent in dentistry. Herein, we report the synthesis of a novel mesoporous silica nanoparticle-encapsulated pure CHX (Nano-CHX), and its mechanical profile and antimicrobial properties against oral biofilms.
The release of CHX from the Nano-CHX was characterized by UV/visible absorption spectroscopy.

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May
2014

The rational design of materials with tailored properties is of paramount importance for a wide variety of biological, medical, electronic and optical applications. Here we report molecular level control over the spatial distribution of functional groups on surfaces utilizing self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of pH-switchable surface-appended pseudorotaxanes. The supramolecular systems were constructed from a poly(aryl ether) dendron-containing a dibenzo[24]crown-8 (DB24C8) macrocycle and a thiol ligand-containing a dibenzylammonium recognition site and a fluorine end group.

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May
2014

A hybrid composite made up of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoshells encapsulating the anticancer drug doxorubicin and bound together by poly(vinyl alcohol) was developed. Transcatheter arterial delivery in an in vivo liver tumor model led to embolization of the liver tumor blood vessels. Embolization was followed by disassembly of the composite.

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Jun
2014

A coumarin-based fluorescent chemosensor CAQA has been synthesized. It can selectively and sensitively recognize Cu(2+) in aqueous acetonitrile solutions. Using the Cu-containing complex CAQA-Cu(2+) as a sensing ensemble, the device demonstrates highly selective recognition of His/biothiols and was applied in fluorescence imaging of histidine in hard-to-transfect living cells.

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Dec
2013

This paper describes comparative studies in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and gene deliveries toward hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) HepG2 cells with ternary composites that consist of superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoparticles (NPs) (8-10 nm) with deferoxamine coating, circular plasmid DNA (~4 kb) equipped with green fluorescent probe, and branched polyethylenimine (PEI) (25 kDa, PDI 2.5). The packaging of the ternary complexes has been characterized by agarose gel retardation assay.

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Nov
2013

Type III-B first generation [3]rotaxane and second generation [4]rotaxane dendrimers have been synthesized via (1) a modified copper-catalyzed alkyne-azide cycloaddition (CuAAC), (2) Glaser-Hay's acetylenic oxidative homo-coupling, and (3) amide formation. The dendron does not reveal obvious cytotoxicities in L929 fibroblast cells. The rotaxane dendrimers can capture ammonia and are switchable both in solution and on surfaces.

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Dec
2013

This paper describes comparative studies and protocols in (1) self-assembling of ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle (NP), circular plasmid DNA, and branched polyethylenimine (PEI) composites; (2) magnetofection; (3) gene delivery, (4) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and (5) cytotoxicity of the composites toward hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells.

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Mar
2013

Core@shell nanoparticles with superparamagnetic iron oxide core, mesoporous silica shell, and crown ether periphery were fabricated toward drug delivery and tumor cell imaging. By the concept of nanovalve based on supramolecular gatekeeper, stimuli-responsive drug delivery nanosystems Fe3O4@SiO2@meso-SiO2@crown ethers were synthesized by (i) modified solvothermal reaction; (ii) sol-gel reaction; and (iii) amide coupling reaction. The successful coupling of the dibenzo-crown ethers onto the mesoporous silica shell was confirmed by thermogravimetric analysis and Infrared spectroscopy.

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Jan
2013

Ternary composite nanomaterials based on deferoxamine-coated superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (8-10 nm), circular plasmid DNA (~4 kb) with fluorescent/luminescent reporter group, and branched polyethylenimine (25 kDa, PDI = 2.5) were prepared and compared in terms of their efficiencies in transfecting brain tumor cells at low concentration.

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Sep
2012

With curcumin and doxorubicin (DOX) base as model drugs, intracellular delivery of hydrophobic anticancer drugs by hollow structured superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoshells (hydrodynamic diameter: 191.9 ± 2.6 nm) was studied in glioblastoma U-87 MG cells.

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Apr
2012

Novel high magnetization microspheres with porous γ-Fe(2)O(3) core and porous SiO(2) shell were synthesized using a templating method, whereas the size of the magnetic core and the thickness of the porous shell can be controlled by tuning the experimental parameters. By way of an example, as-prepared γ-Fe(2)O(3)@meso-SiO(2) microspheres (170 nm) display excellent water-dispersity and show photonic characteristics under externally applied a magnetic field. The magnetic property of the γ-Fe(2)O(3) porous core enables the microspheres to be used as a contrast agent in magnetic resonance imaging with a high r(2) (76.

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Dec
1969

To compare the cellular uptake efficiency and cytotoxicity of aminosilane (SiO(2)-NH(2))-coated superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO@SiO(2)-NH(2)) nanoparticles with three other types of SPIO nanoparticles coated with SiO(2) (SPIO@SiO(2)), dextran (SPIO@dextran), or bare SPIO in mammalian cell lines.
Four types of monodispersed SPIO nanoparticles with a SPIO core size of 7 nm and an overall size in a range of 7-15 nm were synthesized. The mammalian cell lines of MCF-7, MDA-MB-231, HT-29, RAW264.

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Mar
2012

This critical review provides an overview of current research activities that focused on the synthesis and application of multi-functional gold and iron oxide (Au-Fe(x)O(y)) hybrid nanoparticles and nanocomposites. An introduction of synthetic strategies that have been developed for generating Au-Fe(x)O(y) nanocomposites with different nanostructures is presented. Surface functionalisation and bioconjugation of these hybrid nanoparticles and nanocomposites are also reviewed.

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Sep
2011

Chemoembolization agents for cancer treatment.

Eur J Pharm Sci 2011 Sep 25;44(1-2):1-10. Epub 2011 Jun 25.
Kin Y Tam, Ken Cham-Fai Leung, Yi-Xiang J Wang
Chemoembolization has been used in the field of interventional oncology. Although practiced widely, it has only recently been demonstrated that the use of transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) provides a survival benefit based on randomized controlled trials. TACE combines the effect of targeted chemotherapy with the effect of ischemic necrosis induced by arterial embolization.

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Apr
2011

We herein report a comparative study of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) labeling using spherical superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoparticles containing different coatings, namely, organosilica, dextran, and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG). These nanomaterials possess a similar SPIO core size of 6-7 nm. Together with their coatings, the overall sizes are 10-15 nm for all SPIO@SiO₂, SPIO@dextran, and SPIO@PEG nanoparticles.

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Mar
2011

A facile synthesis of monodispersed microparticles composed of superparamagnetic Fe(3)O(4) cores, SiO(2) shell, hierarchical γ-AlOOH periphery with Au nanoparticles is reported. These particles are found to be useful for protein immobilization and bear resemblance to daisy flowers, and are hereafter termed "nanoflowers".

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Feb
2011

This article reports the fabrication of mesoporous Fe(3)O(4) nano/microspheres with a high surface area value (163 m(2)/g, Brunauer-Emmett-Teller) and demonstrates their use for drug loading, release, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These monodispersed, mesoporous Fe(3)O(4) nano/microspheres with controllable average sizes ranging from 50 to 200 nm were synthesized using a Fe(3)O(4)/poly(acrylic acid) hybrid sphere template and subsequent silica shell formation and removal. We found that the SiO(2) coating is a crucial step for the successful synthesis of uniform mesoporous Fe(3)O(4) nano/microspheres.

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Oct
2010

Evaluation of: Albrecht C, Fechner P, Honcharenko D et al. A new assay design for clinical diagnostics based on alternative recognition elements. Biosens.

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Jun
2010

To determine whether low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) is able to facilitate the uptake of a superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanomaterial by cells that do not express high endocytosis capacity.
The human osteosarcoma cell line U2OS and a silica-coated SPIO functionalized peripherally with amines groups (overall diameter 8 nm) were used in this study. Adherent U2OS cells were labeled with SPIO by incubating with culture media containing the SPIO at 4.

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May
2010

The preparation of a novel anthracene-containing dynamic [2]rotaxane by a templating self-assembly process between a diamine and a dialdehyde to form a [24]crown-8 macrocyclic diimine, in the presence of a dumbbell containing a secondary dialkylammonium ion center as the template, which has been exploited for its sensing properties. By appealing to the ability of the anthracene ring system--one of the two stoppers associated with the dumbbell--to act as a fluorescent probe, the fluorescence and fluorescence-quenching nature of the dynamic rotaxane in an equilibrium mixture has been investigated and quantified in the presence of external stimuli such as water, acids, salts, and an amine. The stability, as expressed by the hydrolysis of the dynamic rotaxane has been monitored by following: (i) the anthracene fluorescence and (ii) the movements of the signals in the (1)H NMR spectra.

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Sep
2009

We describe the use of hydrophobic poly(aryl ether) dendrons to peripherally functionalize hydrophilic amine-containing superparamagnetic iron oxide microspheres (SPIO-NH2) in one step via imine formation. The reversible formation of imine bonds in the absence/presence of water renders dynamic control of the hydrophilicity and hydrophobicity of the microspheres (SPIO-Gn). The dynamic nature of the imine-containing dendronized microspheres (SPIO-Gn) can be "fixed" by locking the reversible 2,6-diiminopyridyl moieties with metal cations (Zn2+, Co2+, and Ni2+) to afford kinetically stable dendronized microspheres (SPIO-Gn-M).

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Jan
2010

Large amounts (>100 mol equivalents) of water are required to effect by hydrolysis the partial disassembly of the rings from the dumbbell components of two dynamic [2]rotaxanes. The two dynamic [2]rotaxanes are comprised of [24]crown-8 rings-each of which incorporate two imine bonds-encircling a dumbbell component composed of a dibenzylammonium ion in which each of the two benzyl substituents carries two methoxyl groups attached to their 3- and 5-positions. A mechanism for the partial disassembly of the two dynamic [2]rotaxanes, involving the cleavage of the kinetically labile imine bonds by water molecules, is proposed.

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Nov
2009

Small polyhedral superparamagnetic iron oxide (SPIO) nanoparticles (<10 nm) coated with a thin layer of silica were prepared (SPIO@SiO(2) and SPIO@SiO(2)-NH(2)). Surface modification of the small polyhedral silica-coated SPIO nanoparticles with amines led to substantially higher mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) labelling efficiency without the use of additional transfecting agents. Therefore, amine surface-modified nanoparticles (SPIO@ SiO(2)-NH(2)) appeared to be the preferred candidate for MSC labelling.

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Oct
2009

We report a new method to synthesize magnetically responsive Fe3O4@polyaniline@Au nanocomposites. The superparamagnetic Fe3O4@polyaniline with well-defined core/shell nanostructure has been synthesized via an ultrasound-assisted in situ surface polymerization method. The negatively charged Au nanoparticles with a diameter of about 4 nm have been effectively assembled onto the positively charged surface of the as-synthesized Fe3O4@polyaniline core/shell microspheres via electrostatic attraction.

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Aug
2009

Amine monofunctional gold nanoparticles (1-AuNPs) were synthesized by employing a solid-supported technique and pH-switchable pseudorotaxane formation. Purification was repeatedly facilitated using crown ether peripherally coated superparamagnetic iron oxide microspheres to yield the monofunctional gold nanoparticles in excellent yield. The product and its related intermediate superstructures were characterized by IR and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopies.

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Jun
2009

One-dimensional composite Mn-Fe oxide nanostructures of different sizes (nanoneedles, nanorods, and nanowires) were prepared by a linker-induced organization of manganese-doped iron oxide nanoparticles. The nanostructures were obtained by the treatment of MnFe(2)O(4) nanoparticles in the presence of cystamine. The average lengths of nanoneedle, nanorod, and nanowire are approximately 400, 800, and 1000 nm, respectively.

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Mar
2009

This Focus Review surveys representative examples of pH-controllable supramolecular systems with interesting features and state-of-the-art applications such as 1) conformational changes within individual molecules; 2) folding/unfolding of polymers; 3) simultaneous binding of cations and anions; 4) logic function; 5) ON-OFF switchable colorimetric sensing; 6) translocation of macrocycle-in-rotaxane molecules; 7) large-scale movement within molecules; and 8) regulation of the substrate flow in nanocontainers. In particular, systems will be discussed that involve: pH-induced conformational changes of a resorcinarene cavitand and a bis(iron porphyrin) complex; pH control in assembly and disassembly of supramolecular systems stabilized with different major noncovalent interactions; pH-driven movements of interlocked molecules involving rotaxanes, molecular elevators, and molecular muscles; and, finally, multicomponent supramolecular systems immobilized on solid supports as pH-responsive nanovalves for the controlled release of specific substrates. Recent advances in the understanding of pH-controllable supramolecular systems have led to the construction of meaningful molecular machines for electronic and biological applications that are amenable to control by simple perturbation with acids and bases.

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Oct
2007

In this article, we report on the efficient synthesis of well defined, homogeneous [n]rotaxanes (n up to 11) by a template-directed thermodynamic clipping approach. By employing dynamic covalent chemistry in the form of reversible imine bond formation, [n]rotaxanes with dialkylammonium ion (-CH(2)NH(2)(+)CH(2)-) recognition sites, encircled by [24]crown-8 rings, were prepared by a thermodynamically controlled, template-directed clipping procedure, that is, by mixing together a dumbbell compound containing a discrete number of CH(2)NH(2)(+)CH(2)- ion centers with appropriate amounts of a dialdehyde and a diamine to facilitate the [n]rotaxane formation. A 21-component self-assembly process is operative during the formation of the [11]rotaxane.

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