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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Amino acid derivatives of cholesterol as "latent" organogelators with hydrogen chloride as a protonation reagent.

A series of low molecular weight organic gelator (LMOG) gel systems sensitive to alkaline/acidic stimuli was established by employing amino acid derivatives of cholesterol as "latent" gelators, which are cholesteryl glycinate (1), cholesteryl L-alaninate, cholesteryl D-alaninate, cholesteryl L-phenyl alaninate, and cholesteryl D-phenyl alaninate. The hydrochloric salts are denoted as 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, respectively. For the 18 solvents tested, one proved to be a weak gelator and gels only two of the solvents. Its gelation ability, however, was greatly improved by bubbling HCl gas, which was produced by reaction of concentrated sulfuric acid with NaCl, through its solution owing to protonation of its amino group. It was demonstrated that the protonated form of it gelled 14 of the solvents tested. Further investigation revealed that the gels changed into solution with addition of any of the amines, including triethylamine (TEA), diethylamine, ethylenediamine, and NH(3). The phase transition could be reversed by further introduction of the acidic gas. SEM measurements showed that 1 self-assembled into different supramolecular structures in different gels. Salt effect studies proved that electrostatic interaction is one of the driving forces for formation of the gels.[1]


  1. Amino acid derivatives of cholesterol as "latent" organogelators with hydrogen chloride as a protonation reagent. Li, Y., Liu, K., Liu, J., Peng, J., Feng, X., Fang, Y. Langmuir : the ACS journal of surfaces and colloids. (2006) [Pubmed]
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