European Cyclodextrin Society

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What are cyclodextrins?

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By Thorsteinn Loftsson, University of Iceland.

Cyclodextrins are a group of structurally related natural products formed during bacterial digestion of cellulose. These cyclic oligosaccharides consist of (α-1,4)-linked α-D-glucopyranose units and contain a somewhat lipophilic central cavity and a hydrophilic outer surface. Due to the chair conformation of the glucopyranose units, the cyclodextrins are shaped like a truncated cone rather than perfect cylinders. The hydroxyl functions are orientated to the cone exterior with the primary hydroxyl groups of the sugar residues at the narrow edge of the cone and the secondary hydroxyl groups at the wider edge. The central cavity is lined by the skeletal carbons and ethereal oxygens of the glucose residues, which gives it a lipophilic character. The polarity of the cavity has been estimated to be similar to that of an aqueous ethanolic solution.



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OpenCDLig : A free web application for sharing resources about cyclodextrin/ligand complexes


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 September 2009 10:41

The European Cyclodextrin Society

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