Plants produce a wide range of bioactive phytochemicals, such as antioxidants and vitamins, which play crucial roles in aging prevention, inflammation reduction, and reducing the risk of cancer. Selectively harvesting these phytochemicals, such as lycopene, from tomatoes through the adsorption method is cost-effective and energy efficient. In this work, a templated synthesis of 3D-printed crosslinked cyclodextrin polymers featuring nanotubular structures for highly selective lycopene harvesting is reported. Polypseudorotaxanes formed by triethoxysilane-based telechelic polyethylene glycols and α-cyclodextrins (α-CDs) are designed as the template to (1) synthetically access urethane-based nanotubular structures at the molecular level, and (2) construct 3D-printed architectures with designed macroscale voids. The polypseudorotaxane hydrogels showed good rheological properties for direct ink writing, and the 3D-printed hydrogels were converted to the desired α-CD polymer network through a three-step postprinting transformation. The obtained urethane-crosslinked α-CD monoliths possess nanotubular structures and 3D-printed voids. They selectively adsorb lycopene from raw tomato juice, protecting lycopene from photo- or thermo-degradations. This work highlights the hierarchically templated synthesis approach in developing functional 3D-printing materials by connecting the bottom-up molecular assembly and synthesis with the top-down 3D architecture control and fabrication.
Mingshi Zhang, Wenxing Liu, Qianming Lin, Chenfeng Ke: Hierarchically Templated Synthesis of 3D-Printed Crosslinked Cyclodextrins for Lycopene Harvesting. Small
First published: 07 April 2023 https://doi.org/10.1002/smll.202300323
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