Bioinspired self-assembly I: self-assembled structures
Self-assembly processes are ubiquitous in Nature where, typically, multifunctional building blocks are assembled into larger molecular entities' showing considerable sophistication in both their function and form. These natural self-assembly processes are often of exquisite subtlety and include, among many others, protein folding, the assembly of DNA, and the formation of bilayers, micelles, and vesicles. In this chapter we discuss selected self-assembled synthetic structures, in general prepared by the "bottom-up" approach. These structures mimic or were inspired to a greater or lesser degree by aspects of natural systems. This discussion is intended, in part, to introduce the reader to certain of the structural types that will be discussed in greater detail in later chapters.
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