Congratulations to Chris and Amy from the TG group, as well as collaborators Kevin Byrne and Prof. Wolfgang Schmitt (TCD School of Chemistry and CRANN) and Dr Gavin Ryan and Prof. Matthias Möbius (TCD School of Physics) for their recent publication in Chemical Communications entitled “A resilient and luminescent stimuli-responsive hydrogel from a heterotopic 1,8-naphthalimide-derived ligand”. This work describes the synthesis of a fluorescent naphthalimide-containing gelator which forms robust hydrogels in the presence of potassium ions. As well as a rare example of a hydrogelator containing no hydrogen bond donors, this material exhibits the useful property of chemical reversibility, where 18-crown-6 and potassium chloride can be used to disrupt or re-form the gel, respectively.
Many congratulation to Elena De Calatrava-Pérez on her article in Chemical Communications: Glycosidase activated release of fluorescent 1,8-naphthalimide probes for tumor cell imaging from glycosylated ‘pro-probes’ (Chem. Commun., 2016, 52, 13086-13089). The work has been featured on the cover of the journal, which was designed by Elena and her sister-in-law Amparo Mérida-Navas, a trained graphic designer. The work describes the development of fluorescent glycosylated 4-amino-1,8-naphthalimide derivatives as ‘pro-probes’ that are taken up into cancer cells upon being selectively hydrolysed in situ by glycosidase enzymes. Elena is a joint PhD student between Thorri and Prof. Eoin Scanlan in the School of Chemistry here at TCD (both based in TBSI) and the work was carried out in collaboration with Prof. Clive Williams from the School of Biochemistry and Immunology (TBSI).
Many congratulations to Chris, Dawn and Salvador who had their paper “Structure direction, solvent effects and anion influences in halogen-bonded adducts of 2,6-bis(iodoethynyl)pyridine” accepted in the ACS journal Crystal Growth & Design and to Esther and Steve who had their paper “Cyclen lanthanide-based micellar structures for application as luminescent [Eu(III)] and magnetic [Gd(III)] resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents” accepted in the RSC journal Chemical Communications. Both papers represent new areas within the TG research group; the former being the first publication from the group on the use of halogen bonding in self-assembly formation, while the latter presents the first examples of the formation of lanthanide based self-assembly micelles. This contribution was also the 200th to be accepted from the TG group. Well done to you all!
Recent statistics show that research from the Gunnlaugsson Group published in RSC journals is gaining attention as Prof Gunnlaugsson is in the top 10% of cited authors in the General Chemistry portfolio of these journals. The highlights of recent attention-gaining articles included “Self-assembly formation of mechanically interlocked - and  catenanes using lanthanide ion [Eu(III)] templation and ring closing metathesis reactions” by Dr Christophe Lincheneau et al. in Chemical Communications, which has been cited 18 times since 2014 and downloaded 1167 times. Also listed was the comprehensive review article of the supramolecular and coordination chemistry of 2,6-bis(1,2,3-triazol-4-yl)pyridine (btp) ligands by Dr Joseph Byrne et al. published in Chemical Society Reviews, which has been cited 18 times since publication and downloaded 1237 times, according to the RSC’s download records up to February 2016.
Recent research from the TG Group on the use of lanthanide luminescent soft materials as molecular logic gate mimics was presented to the public as part of the Discover Dublin Research Night in the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute on 25th September 2015. The work was described in an RTÉ News bulletin the day before and many people attended the laboratory where Sam Bradberry, Joe Byrne and Anna Aletti showed them how research chemists can create functional materials from commercially available building blocks, step by step. Illustrations by artist Sophie Longwill helped communicate the complex ideas to an audience of all ages. The presentation won a prize as a result of feedback from visitors.
The research was recently published in an article in Chemical Communications. It describes the use of lanthanide luminescent bundles based on the “Trinity Sliotar” and the btp motif as components in methacrylate-based soft materials and their use as responsive functional materials, and with luminescent outputs which can be described in terms of logic gates. The article can be read here.