McMaster University - Chem2O06 1997/98

Chem2O6 The Molecule on the Home Page 1997-98

The molecule which appears on the Chem 2O6 home page is an inclusion or host/guest complex of biphenyl with -cyclodextrin, a cyclic oligomer of glucose. Cyclodextrin and their complexes with many organic molecules are water-soluble, even when the guest molecule on its own is not. The wide variety of guest molecules which cyclodextrins can form complexes with and hence make water-soluble, as well as the fact that cyclodextrins are made of sugar, make them of immense value in the pharmaceutical industry as "drug delivery" systems.

The molecule is pictured below in a form which allows you to manipulate the appearance of the molecule. For example, you can rotate the structure by pointing at it with the mouse and holding the left key down while dragging. Several other viewing options can be obtained from a drop down menu which is activated by clicking the right mouse key while pointing at the structure. For example, the "Display" format can be altered between Wireframe, Stick, Ball&Stick, and Spacefilling. You can view the molecule in 3D by selecting Stereo Display under "Options" (you'll see two copies of the structure side by side - in order to get the 3D effect, you have to look at the dual image with your eyes crossed. If you've got it right, you'll see three structures - the center one is the 3D image.)

There are seven glucose units incorporated in the cyclodextrin structure. See if you can find them. Identifying the biphenyl "guest" molecule should be easy.

If you don't see the picture, you need the ChemScape CHIME plug-in, and Netscape 3.0 or higher.

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16sep97; wjl