Mechanistic and dynamic insights into ligand encapsulation by helical arylamide foldamers

Ara M. Abramyan, Zhiwei Liu, Vojislava Pophristic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Molecular capsules have been extensively used in catalysis, drug delivery, molecular recognition and protection of ligands from degradation. Novel “apple peel” shaped helical arylamide capsules have been experimentally pursued due to their flexible nature and designability. They were found to encapsulate a variety of small molecules. The apple peel shape of the capsules led to a hypothesis that binding and release of ligands involve partial unfolding. However, the exact mechanism is unknown. Using molecular dynamics simulations with our new aryl-amide force field parameters, we identify two low energy barrier binding/release mechanisms, in which the capsule’s helical structure is either minimally disturbed or restored quickly (within 100 ps). Furthermore, we determine the effects of ligand sizes, their chemical nature (hydrogen bonding capabilities), and solvents on binding modes and stabilities. Our findings not only support experimental observations but also provide underlying principles that allow for rational design of foldamer capsules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20406-20410
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number38
StatePublished - Sep 10 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Mechanistic and dynamic insights into ligand encapsulation by helical arylamide foldamers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this