Axis 1 : Self-assembled nano-objects : revisiting the template effect for tailored molecular recognition and long range propagation of molecular information


From simple building blocks to complex architectures and functionalities. We are developing a family of disulfide based cyclophanes called dynarenes from simple building blocks which can be equipped on demand with target functional groups for tailored applications. The proof of the chemical, structural and binding versatility of these new nano-objects has recently been brought (J. Org. Chem. 2016, 81, 654). We are currently studying the transfer of information from a molecular partner to these self-assembled architectures. These molecular partners include biologically relevant peptide sequences (coll. with the pharmaceutical industry, Eur Patent 2016 15606374.0), some of which proved to induce asymetric folding of the dynarenes upon binding, paving the way toward peptide sequence sensing (Chem. Commun 2016, 52, 14219-14221 ). 


Axis 2: Self-assembled nanomaterial based on CO2. Addressing environmental issues with chemical systems in the condensed phase

Recycling molecular waste by self-assembling into smart nanomaterial. CO2, the ultimate combustion product of organic resources is extracted and valorized as a tecton (building block and molecular trigger) to build reversible and original nanomaterials by self-assembling (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 3582-93).Thermodynamically controlled aggregation into a highly organized nano-material (Chem. Sci., 2016, 7, 4379-4390), proves to be a highly selective process in terms of building block incorporation paving the way toward the capture and recycling of valuable molecules from complex mixtures. The use of a volatile tecton within a reversible supramolecular network also affords original and bioinspired properties such as cooperativity. Recently, this approach was successfully applied to the selective extraction of strategic metals from mixtures mimicking technological waste (PCT Int. Appl. 2014, WO 2014188115 A1 20141127, Green Chem., 2016, 18, 6436-6444) and implemented in continuous flow processes (Patent Fr. 2016, FR16 53968)



Axis 3: Use of amphiphilic cyclodextrins derivatives for the encapsulation of anti-cancerous drugs. Synthesis, auto-assembly , Toxicology and transport studies.

In collaboration with the Faculty of Pharmacy of Debrecen (Hungary) and the group of Dr. Ildiko Backskay, cytotoxic properties and transport abilities of various cyclodextrins (CDs) are studied in order to find relationship between the structure and cytotoxic / permeation properties.

The synthesis of well-defined substituted amphiphilic CDs derivatives as well as nanoparticles formation are done in the CSAp laboratory in Lyon, MTT and real-time assay as cytotoxic methods are performed on Caco-2 cell monolayer in Debrecen. First results suggest that the intensity of the cytotoxicity and the transport capability differ between the cell types due to the possibly different mechanism of membrane constituent extraction.