Calix[n]arenes (CAs) are supramolecular compounds able to form guest-host inclusion complexes with metal ions, small organic molecules, and small moieties of larger molecules. Although the CA literature is extensive, relatively few publications deal with water-soluble CAs, especially those containing nitrogen-based functionality. These CAs possess antibacterial and antifungal activity. Because of their molecular structure, they are surface active and also able to form water-soluble drug complexes, giving additional potential as enabling pharmaceutical excipients. This article provides an overview of the published data regarding synthesis, physicochemical properties, and pharmaceutical application of water-soluble CAs with emphasis on those that contain nitrogen-based substituents in their structure, particularly aminoCAs. In particular, it describes state-of-the-art in complexation of water-soluble CAs with pharmaceutically relevant ions and organic molecules up to amino acids, DNA, and proteins.
- inclusion compounds
- structure-activity relationship