Sphere–Tubule Superstructures through Supramolecular and Supracolloidal Assembly Pathways

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


While colloids have been widely employed as models for atoms and molecules, the current study proposes to extend their use as building blocks for supracolloidal frameworks. Hereby, the self-assembly between highly anisotropic supramolecular microtubules and soft spherical fluorescent microgels is explored using confocal laser scanning microscopy. The influence of the particle size and charge with respect to the catanionic tubule composition, which consists of two oppositely charged bile salt derivatives, is investigated. Under certain conditions, microgel particles are found to specifically interact with the extremities of the tubular aggregates and hierarchically self-assemble into various superstructures varying from virus-like assemblies to supracolloidal networks. The reported approach is envisioned to open new self-assembly routes toward ordered hybrid superstructures where the spherical colloids act as responsive linkers of tubular structures.


External organisations
  • Sapienza University of Rome
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Physical Chemistry


  • bile salt derivatives, microgels, self-assembly, supracolloidal assembly, supramolecular tubules
Original languageEnglish
Article number1803215
Issue number50
Early online date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication categoryResearch