Theranostics 2019; 9(11):3075-3093. doi:10.7150/thno.31858 This issue


Supramolecular nanotheranostics based on pillarenes

Nan Song1, Xin-Yue Lou1, Lianjun Ma2, Hui Gao3, Ying-Wei Yang1,4✉

1. State Key Laboratory of Inorganic Synthesis and Preparative Chemistry, International Joint Research Laboratory of Nano-Micro Architecture Chemistry, College of Chemistry, Jilin University, 2699 Qianjin Street, Changchun 130012, P. R. China
2. Department of Endoscopics, China-Japan Union Hospital of Jilin University, Jilin University, 126 Xiantai Street, Changchun 130033, P. R. China
3. School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Organic Solar Cells and Photochemical Conversion, Tianjin University of Technology, Tianjin 300384, P. R. China
4. The State Key Laboratory of Refractories and Metallurgy, School of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, Wuhan University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430081, P. R. China

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Song N, Lou XY, Ma L, Gao H, Yang YW. Supramolecular nanotheranostics based on pillarenes. Theranostics 2019; 9(11):3075-3093. doi:10.7150/thno.31858. Available from

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Graphic abstract

With the rapid development of supramolecular chemistry and nanomaterials, supramolecular nanotheranostics has attracted remarkable attention owing to the advantages compared with conventional medicine. Supramolecular architectures relying on non-covalent interactions possess reversible and stimuli-responsive features; endowing supramolecular nanotheranostics based on supramolecular assemblies great potentials for the fabrication of integrated novel nanomedicines and controlled drug delivery systems. In particular, pillarenes, as a relatively new class of synthetic macrocycles, are important candidates in the construction of supramolecular therapeutic systems due to their excellent features such as rigid and symmetric structures, facile substitution, and unique host-guest properties. This review summarizes the development of pillarene-based supramolecular nanotheranostics for applications in biological mimicking, virus inhibition, cancer therapy, and diagnosis, which contains the following two major parts: (a) pillarene-based hybrid supramolecular nanotheranostics upon hybridizing with porous materials such as mesoporous silica nanoparticles, metal-organic frameworks, metal nanoparticles, and other inorganic materials; (b) pillarene-based organic supramolecular therapeutic systems that include supramolecular amphiphilic systems, artificial channels, and prodrugs based on host-guest complexes. Finally, perspectives on how pillarene-based supramolecular nanotheranostics will advance the field of pharmaceuticals and therapeutics are given.

Keywords: Drug delivery, hybrid materials, macrocyclic arenes, nanotheranostics, supramolecular chemistry