Construction of discrete, self-assembled architectures in water has gained significant interest in recent years as a wide range of applications arises from their defined 3D structure. In this review we jointly discuss the efforts of supramolecular chemists and biotechnologists who previously worked independently, to tackle discipline-specific challenges associated with construction of assemblies from synthetic and bio-derived components, respectively. Going forward, a more interdisciplinary research approach will expedite development of complexes with real-world applications that exploit the benefits of compartmentalisation. In support of this, we summarise advances made in the development of discrete, water-soluble assemblies, with particular focus on their current and prospective applications. Areas where understanding and methodologies can be transferred from one sector to the adjacent field are highlighted in anticipation this will yield advances not possible from either field alone.
- DNA architectures
- peptide assemblies