Perspectives in Chemistry: From Supramolecular Chemistry towards Adaptive Chemistry

This keynote lecture was given during the ECCB'14 Opening Ceremony, Sunday, September 7, 2014, Palais de la Musique et des Congrès, Strasbourg, France. Professor Jean-Marie Lehn was introduced by Dr. Marie-Dominique Devignes, Conference Chair.

Supramolecular chemistry explores systems undergoing self-organization, capable of generating well-defined functional supramolecular architectures by molecular information controlled self-assembly from their components, thus behaving as programmed chemical systems.
Supramolecular chemistry is intrinsically a dynamic chemistry in view of the lability of the interactions connecting the molecular components of a supramolecular entity and the resulting ability of supramolecular species to exchange their components. The same holds for molecular chemistry when the molecular entity contains covalent bonds that may form and break reversibility, so as to allow a continuous change in constitution by reorganization and exchange of building blocks. These features define a Constitutional Dynamic Chemistry (CDC) covering both the molecular and supramolecular levels.
CDC introduces a paradigm shift with respect to constitutionally static chemistry. It takes advantage of dynamic diversity to allow variation and selection and operates on dynamic constitutional diversity in response to either internal or external factors to achieve adaptation.
CDC generates networks of dynamically interconverting constituents, constitutional dynamic networks, presenting agonistic and antagonistic relationships between their constituents, that may respond to perturbations by physical stimuli or to chemical effectors.
The implementation of these concepts points to the emergence of adaptive and evolutive chemistry, towards systems of increasing complexity. 


Jean-Marie Lehn 

University of Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France
Nobel Laureate in Chemistry (1987)

Bio: Jean-Marie Lehn was born in Rosheim, France in 1939. In 1970 he became Professor of Chemistry at the Universit√© Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg and from 1979 to 2010 he was Professor at the Coll√®ge de France in Paris. He is presently Professor Emeritus at the University of Strasbourg. He shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1987 for his studies on the chemical basis of ‚Äúmolecular recognition‚ÄĚ (i.e. the way in which a receptor molecule recognizes and selectively binds a substrate), which also plays a fundamental role in biological processes.¬†Over the years his work led him to the definition of a new field of chemistry, which he has proposed calling ‚Äúsupramolecular chemistry‚ÄĚ as it deals with the complex entities formed by the association of two or more chemical species held together by non-covalent intermolecular forces, whereas molecular chemistry concerns the entities constructed from atoms linked by covalent bonds. Subsequently, the area developed into the chemistry of "self-organization" processes and more recently towards "adaptive chemistry", dynamic networks and complex systems.¬†
Author of more than 900 scientific publications, Lehn is a member of many academies and institutions. He has received numerous international honours and awards.

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