Abstract: Cucurbit[n]urils (CB[n], n=5-11), a new class of molecular hosts comprising n glycoluril units, have gained much attention in the modern era for their exceptional molecular recognition ability due to hydrophobic core and hydrophilic portals. The structure of CB[n]’s were well established by X-ray diffraction studies and Raman spectroscopy. The CB[n] derivatives have brought dynamism to CB chemistry by Direct and Indirect functionalization, as witnessed by the heightened interest in this field for last several years. Various studies have been done for the supramolecular chemistry of CB[n] (a synthetic receptor) which holds a remarkable host-guest behavior. These CB[n]’s have sufficiently low toxicity which encourage further studies of the CB[n] as an additive in pharmaceutical preparations. Due to having several salient features like easy synthetic pathway, high binding affinity, high hydrophobicity at the core and available in various cavity sizes CB[n]’s are more frequently used for biological application in comparison to other host molecules like Cyclodextrins and Calixarenes. Not only in terms of high binding affinities, CB[n] macrocycles are also inert towards strong acids, bases, oxidizing agents, reducing agents, which makes them practically relevant for various applications like chemosensors, phase transfer catalyst, molecular switch, complex self-sorting systems and also used in preparation of molecular machines. CB[n]’s present themselves as a young family of molecular containers, able to form stable complexes with various guests, including drug molecules, hydrocarbons, per fluorinated hydrocarbons, amino acids and peptides, saccharides, dyes and even high molar weight guest such as protein( e.g. Human Insulin).


  • Kim, Angew. Chem, Int. Ed., 2001, 40, 4233
  • Kim, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2003, 125, 10186
  • Werner M Nau et. al. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2004, 126, 5806-5816
  • Lyle Isaacs Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2005, 44, 4844-4870
  • Zhu Tao, Gang Wei Org. Biomol. Chem. 2016, 14, 4335-4364
  • Frank Biedermann, Isr. J. Chem. 2018, 58, 1-57