Date of Award

Summer 8-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Wang, Guijun PhD

Second Advisor

Trudell, Mark PhD

Third Advisor

Wiley, John PhD

Fourth Advisor

Rick, Steven PhD


Systems formed by the supramolecular assemblages of organic molecules known as organogelators and hydrogelators are currently, and only recently, a subject of great attention and promise. In this context, low molecular weight gelators (LMWGs) are of particular interest because they provide a bottom-up approach to the formation of supramolecular architectures through self-assembly. Gelator molecules do so via the initial formation of a one-dimensional array of individual molecules bound non-covalently through forces such as: hydrogen bonds, electrostatic forces, Van der Waals interactions, and other weak forces such as π-π interactions. These interactions then lead to secondary structure formation through a similar assembly mechanism. Understanding the gelation process through characterization techniques is critical to the development of a design rationale for gelator molecules. Past and current research performed by the Wang group indicates that analogues of various 4,6-benzylidene acetals form stable gels in organic, aqueous, and organic/aqueous solvents at varying concentrations. The basis of varying the 4,6-protecting groups on glucose and glucosamine derivatives is to discern the relative structure activity relationships of these systems, and as well to fabricate functional systems which respond to external stimulus. Stimuli responsive or trigger release gel systems formed by sugar based low molecular weight gelators (LMWGs) have applications as smart biocompatible materials, and such responsiveness in various media was explored and developed to determine the feasibility of such applications using monosaccharide derivatives.


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