1.D.116. The Soft-Matter Nanotube (SMNT) Family
Self-assembled organic nanotubes made of single or multiple molecular components can be classified into soft-matter nanotubes (SMNTs) by contrast with hard-matter nanotubes, such as carbon and other inorganic nanotubes (Shimizu et al. 2020). Diverse self-assembly processes and elaborate template procedures using rationally designed organic molecules have produced suitable tubular architectures with definite dimensions, structural complexity, and hierarchy for expected functions and applications. Shimizu et al. 2020 comprehensively discussed every function and possible applications of a wide range of SMNTs as bulk materials or single components. They reviewed highlights and valuable contributions mainly from 2010 to 2020. Fifteen different families of SMNTs are discussed from the viewpoints of chemical, physical, biological, and medical applications, as well as action fields (e.g., interior, wall, exterior, whole structure, and ensemble of nanotubes). Chemical applications of the SMNTs are associated with encapsulating materials and sensors. SMNTs also behave, while sometimes undergoing morphological transformation, as a catalyst, template, liquid crystal, hydro-/organogel, superhydrophobic surface, and micron size engine. Physical functions pertain to ferro-/piezoelectricity and energy migration/storage, leading to the applications to electrodes or supercapacitors, and mechanical reinforcement. Biological functions involve artificial chaperone, transmembrane transport, nanochannels, and channel reactors. Finally, medical functions range from drug delivery to nonviral gene transfer vector function and virus traps.