Mini review Applications of FRET-based supramolecular architectures for temperature sensing and Cancer diagnosis: A mini-review


  • Amir Sohail UAE University


supramolecular architectures, Förster resonance energy transfers, Non-covalent interactions, host-guest chemistry, FRET signals, cancer diagnosis


Supramolecular nanostructured materials, displaying Förster resonance energy transfers (FRET) signals, have become the focus of interest for many researchers across the globe. FRET based supramolecular systems have extended applications in areas as diverse as materials science, biochemistry, analytical chemistry, and nanomedicine. The non-covalent phenomena operating in supramolecular frameworks depends on many factors such as wide range of time scales, binding strengths, distances, and concentrations of the supramolecular components (host and guest). Here in, we focus in which FRET has been used to study non-covalent interactions having a key role of cancer diagnosis and temperature sensing in supramolecular systems. Furthermore, we have discussed FRET-based architectures with current advancement in the field and provide a perspective on new advancement for the future.


Lou X-Y, Song N, Yang Y-W. Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer Systems in Supramolecular Macrocyclic Chemistry. Molecules [Internet]. 2017 Sep 29 [cited 2020 Aug 18];22(10):1640. Available from:

Yao Q, Lü B, Ji C, Cai Y, Yin M. Supramolecular Host–Guest System as Ratiometric Fe 3+ Ion Sensor Based on Water-Soluble Pillar[5]arene. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces [Internet]. 2017 Oct 18 [cited 2020 Aug 20];9(41):36320–6. Available from:

Qu D-H, Wang Q-C, Zhang Q-W, Ma X, Tian H. Photoresponsive Host–Guest Functional Systems. Chem Rev [Internet]. 2015 Aug 12 [cited 2020 Aug 20];115(15):7543–88. Available from:

Sohail A, Alnaqbi MA, Saleh N. Alginate/Cucurbit[7]uril/Dequalinium-Based Supramolecular Carbohydrates: Modulation of FRET Signals by Temperature Control. Macromolecules [Internet]. 2019 Nov 26 [cited 2020 Aug 20];52(22):9023–31. Available from:

Hu J, Liu S. Engineering Responsive Polymer Building Blocks with Host–Guest Molecular Recognition for Functional Applications. Acc Chem Res [Internet]. 2014 Jul 15 [cited 2020 Aug 20];47(7):2084–95. Available from:

Liu Z, Nalluri SKM, Stoddart JF. Surveying macrocyclic chemistry: from flexible crown ethers to rigid cyclophanes. Chem Soc Rev [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2020 Aug 20];46(9):2459–78. Available from:

Yang Y-W, Sun Y-L, Song N. Switchable Host–Guest Systems on Surfaces. Acc Chem Res [Internet]. 2014 Jul 15 [cited 2020 Aug 20];47(7):1950–60. Available from:

Jones CD, Steed JW. Gels with sense: supramolecular materials that respond to heat, light and sound. Chem Soc Rev [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2020 Aug 20];45(23):6546–96. Available from:

Cheng C, McGonigal PR, Schneebeli ST, Li H, Vermeulen NA, Ke C, et al. An artificial molecular pump. Nat Nanotechnol [Internet]. 2015 Jun [cited 2020 Aug 20];10(6):547–

Available from:

Klajn R, Stoddart JF, Grzybowski BA. Nanoparticles functionalised with reversible molecular and supramolecular switches. Chem Soc Rev [Internet]. 2010 [cited 2020 Aug 20];39(6):2203. Available from:

Pitto-Barry A, Barry NPE, Russo V, Heinrich B, Donnio B, Therrien B, et al. Designing Supramolecular Liquid-Crystalline Hybrids from Pyrenyl-Containing Dendrimers and Arene Ruthenium Metallacycles. J Am Chem Soc [Internet]. 2014 Dec 17 [cited 2020 Aug 20];136(50):17616–25. Available from:

Qiao F, Zhang L, Lian Z, Yuan Z, Yan C-Y, Zhuo S, et al. Construction of artificial light-harvesting systems in aqueous solution: Supramolecular polymers based on host- enhanced ?–? interaction with aggregation-induced emission. J Photochem Photobiol Chem [Internet]. 2018 Mar [cited 2020 Aug 21];355:419–24. Available from:

Wang P, Miao X, Meng Y, Wang Q, Wang J, Duan H, et al. Tetraphenylethene-Based Supramolecular Coordination Frameworks with Aggregation-Induced Emission for an Artificial Light-Harvesting System. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces [Internet]. 2020 May 20 [cited 2020 Aug 21];12(20):22630–9. Available from:

Hu Y, Li W, Jia P, Wang X, Xu L, Yang H. Supramolecular Artificial Light?Harvesting Systems with Aggregation?Induced Emission. Adv Opt Mater [Internet]. 2020 Jul [cited 2020 Aug 21];8(14):2000265. Available from:

Bhattacharyya S, Maity M, Chowdhury A, Saha ML, Panja SK, Stang PJ, et al. Coordination-Assisted Reversible Photoswitching of Spiropyran-Based Platinum Macrocycles. Inorg Chem [Internet]. 2020 Feb 3 [cited 2020 Aug 21];59(3):2083–91. Available from:

Tsien RY. THE GREEN FLUORESCENT PROTEIN. Annu Rev Biochem [Internet]. 1998 Jun [cited 2020 Aug 21];67(1):509–44. Available from:

Severi C, Melnychuk N, Klymchenko AS. Smartphone-assisted detection of nucleic acids by light-harvesting FRET-based nanoprobe. Biosens Bioelectron [Internet]. 2020 Aug [cited 2020 Aug 21];112515. Available from:

Meng L-B, Li D, Xiong S, Hu X-Y, Wang L, Li G. FRET-capable supramolecular polymers based on a BODIPY-bridged pillar[5]arene dimer with BODIPY guests for mimicking the light-harvesting system of natural photosynthesis. Chem Commun [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2020 Aug 21];51(22):4643–6. Available from:

Yao Y, Xue M, Chen J, Zhang M, Huang F. An Amphiphilic Pillar[5]arene: Synthesis, Controllable Self-Assembly in Water, and Application in Calcein Release and TNT Adsorption. J Am Chem Soc [Internet]. 2012 Sep 26 [cited 2020 Aug 21];134(38):15712–5. Available from:

Chen N-T, Cheng S-H, Liu C-P, Souris J, Chen C-T, Mou C-Y, et al. Recent Advances in Nanoparticle-Based Förster Resonance Energy Transfer for Biosensing, Molecular Imaging and Drug Release Profiling. Int J Mol Sci [Internet]. 2012 Dec 5 [cited 2020 Aug 21];13(12):16598–623. Available from: 0067/13/12/16598

Boisselier E, Astruc D. Gold nanoparticles in nanomedicine: preparations, imaging, diagnostics, therapies and toxicity. Chem Soc Rev [Internet]. 2009 [cited 2020 Aug 21];38(6):1759. Available from:

Berney C, Danuser G. FRET or No FRET: A Quantitative Comparison. Biophys J [Internet]. 2003 Jun [cited 2020 Aug 21];84(6):3992–4010. Available from:

Sapsford KE, Berti L, Medintz IL. Materials for Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer Analysis: Beyond Traditional Donor–Acceptor Combinations. Angew Chem Int Ed [Internet]. 2006 Jul 10 [cited 2020 Aug 21];45(28):4562–89. Available from:

Bunt G, Wouters FS. FRET from single to multiplexed signaling events. Biophys Rev [Internet]. 2017 Apr [cited 2020 Aug 21];9(2):119–29. Available from:

Zhou D, Piper JD, Abell C, Klenerman D, Kang D-J, Ying L. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer between a quantum dot donor and a dye acceptor attached to DNA. Chem Commun [Internet]. 2005 [cited 2020 Aug 21];(38):4807. Available from:

Nguyen HD, Dang DT, van Dongen JLJ, Brunsveld L. Protein Dimerization Induced by Supramolecular Interactions with Cucurbit[8]uril. Angew Chem Int Ed [Internet]. 2010 Jan 25 [cited 2020 Aug 21];49(5):895–8. Available from:

Hossain MA, Mihara H, Ueno A. Novel Peptides Bearing Pyrene and Coumarin Units with or without ?-Cyclodextrin in Their Side Chains Exhibit Intramolecular Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer. J Am Chem Soc [Internet]. 2003 Sep [cited 2020 Aug 21];125(37):11178–9. Available from:

Yu G, Wu D, Li Y, Zhang Z, Shao L, Zhou J, et al. A pillar[5]arene-based [2]rotaxane lights up mitochondria. Chem Sci [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2020 Aug 21];7(5):3017–24. Available from:

Yu G, Zhao R, Wu D, Zhang F, Shao L, Zhou J, et al. Pillar[5]arene-based amphiphilic supramolecular brush copolymers: fabrication, controllable self-assembly and application in self-imaging targeted drug delivery. Polym Chem [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2020 Aug 21];7(40):6178–88. Available from:

Xu M, Wu S, Zeng F, Yu C. Cyclodextrin Supramolecular Complex as a Water-Soluble Ratiometric Sensor for Ferric Ion Sensing. Langmuir [Internet]. 2010 Mar 16 [cited 2020 Aug 21];26(6):4529–34. Available from:

Xue M, Wei W, Su Y, Johnson D, Heath JR. Supramolecular Probes for Assessing Glutamine Uptake Enable Semi-Quantitative Metabolic Models in Single Cells. J Am Chem Soc [Internet]. 2016 Mar 9 [cited 2020 Aug 21];138(9):3085–93. Available from:

Fu L, Lai G, Yu A. Preparation of ?-cyclodextrin functionalized reduced graphene oxide: application for electrochemical determination of paracetamol. RSC Adv [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2020 Aug 21];5(94):76973–8. Available from:

Ye H, Yang L, Zhao G, Zhang Y, Ran X, Wu S, et al. A FRET-based fluorescent approach for labetalol sensing using calix[6]arene functionalized MnO 2 @graphene as a receptor. RSC Adv [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2020 Aug 21];6(83):79350–60. Available from:

Villafiorita-Monteoleone F, Daita V, Quarti C, Perdicchia D, Del Buttero P, Scavia G, et al. Light harvesting of CdSe/CdS quantum dots coated with ?-cyclodextrin based host–guest species through resonant energy transfer from the guests. RSC Adv [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2020 Aug 21];4(55):28886–92. Available from:

Hao M, Sun G, Zuo M, Xu Z, Chen Y, Hu X, et al. A Supramolecular Artificial Light?Harvesting System with Two?Step Sequential Energy Transfer for Photochemical Catalysis. Angew Chem [Internet]. 2020 Jun 15 [cited 2020 Aug 21];132(25):10181–6. Available from:

Xun Z, Yu T, Zeng Y, Chen J, Zhang X, Yang G, et al. Artificial photosynthesis dendrimers integrating light-harvesting, electron delivery and hydrogen production. J Mater Chem A [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2020 Aug 21];3(24):12965–71. Available from:

Wei X, Dong R, Wang D, Zhao T, Gao Y, Duffy P, et al. Supramolecular Fluorescent Nanoparticles Constructed via Multiple Non-Covalent Interactions for the Detection of Hydrogen Peroxide in Cancer Cells. Chem - Eur J [Internet]. 2015 Aug 3 [cited 2021 Jul 24];21(32):11427–34. Available from:




How to Cite

Amir Sohail. (2022). Mini review Applications of FRET-based supramolecular architectures for temperature sensing and Cancer diagnosis: A mini-review. OAJ Materials and Devices, 6(1). Retrieved from