Supramolecular Analytical Chemistry

Contact: Prof. Ivo Leito,

Our supramolecular analytical chemistry research focuses on the design and synthesis of sensitive and selective anion binding receptors and accurate binding constant measurements. Initial research was first started in our group in 2012 and was mainly based on indolocarbazole based receptors and acetate anion as a target analyte. From 2013 we started to include more urea and carbazole fragments and increase the diversity of structures both from receptors and anions.

One of our main advancements in this field has been the development of two highly accurate binding affinity measurement methods: UV-Vis spectrophotometric binding affinity measurement method and NMR spectrometric binding affinity measurement method. Instead of measuring binding constant directly, differences between binding affinities between two or more receptors towards target analyte are measured. Such technique enables overcoming some of the systematic effects associated with absolute binding constant measurements and obtaining binding constant values with much higher accuracy.

Currently, we focus mostly on carboxylate anion binding and especially on differentiating between different carboxylate anions. Starting from small formate to larger non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as ibuprofen and naproxen. We incorporate both acyclic and macrocyclic approaches to our receptor design by using combinations of carbazole and urea moieties in receptor framework.

The receptors developed here have already been successfully incorporated into potentiometric ion-selective electrodes (sensitive e.g. for acetate and hydrocarbonate) in collaboration with the group of prof. Johan Bobacka at Åbo Akademi.