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Communication | Special issue | Vol 95, No. 1, 2017, pp.127-130
Published online, 9th June, 2016
DOI: 10.3987/COM-16-S(S)1
A Water-Soluble Cavitand Sequesters 2-Nonenal, the Odor Component of the Elderly

Yang Yu, Simone Mosca, and Julius Rebek, Jr.*

*Department of Chemistry, The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California 92037, U.S.A.


Long chain aldehydes are principal components of odor in older populations. Here we show that a synthetic container molecule, a deep water-soluble cavitand forms complexes in aqueous (D2O) solution. The cavitands bind the aldehyde in a compressed conformation that reduces exposure to the medium. The aldehyde is extracted from the complex by tetrachloroethane and sodium dodecyl sulfate, chemical agents of dry cleaning or laundering, respectively. The large-scale synthesis of the cavitand opens possibilities for its attachment to clothing fibers.