Elina Sievänen group

Functional Supramolecular Materials Based on Bile Acids

Bile acids are end products of cholesterol metabolism formed in the hepatocytes and modified by the bacteria in the intestines. They have an essential role in digestion and absorption of lipids and lipid-soluble vitamins. Bile acids are facially amphiphilic molecules bearing different numbers of hydroxyl groups on their steroidal skeletons. Because of the difference in their steric crowding, each hydroxyl group can be derivatized individually and e.g. the water/lipid-solubility of the molecule tailored. More convertibility can be achieved by modifying the side chain of bile acids and the carboxyl group therein. Besides being cheap and easily available, bile acids are endogenous products and thus harmless for our organs. These features make bile acids attractive starting materials for the design of pharmacologically active molecules as well as host molecules capable of recognizing guests by means of weak interactions.

We are interested in designing and preparing new bile acid-derived molecules capable of self-assembly that leads to functional materials. Currently ongoing projects aim at preparing functional supramolecular gels as well as fluorescent probes designed to specifically recognize metabolites within living cells. 

Selected publications

Publication 1

R. Kuosmanen, R.-M. Willman, I. Äijäläinen, A. Gálandaková, J. Ulrichová, H. Salo, R. Puttreddy, K. Rissanen, E. Sievänen, Biocompatible bile acid-based hydrogelators as potential matrices for cell growth, Steroids, 108, 2016, 7-16.

Publication 2

V. Noponen, K. Toikkanen, E. Kalenius, R. Kuosmanen, H. Salo, E. Sievänen, Stimuli-responsive bile acid-based metallogels forming in aqueous media, Steroids, 97, 2015, 54-61.

Publication 3

H. Svobodová, V. Noponen, E. Kolehmainen, E. Sievänen, Recent Advances in Steroidal Supramolecular Gels, RSC Advances, 2, 2012, 4987-5007.