Cyclodextrin molecules, artwork

Cyclodextrin molecules, artwork

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Credit: DR TIM EVANS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Cyclodextrins. Molecular models of alpha- (left), beta- (centre) and gamma- (right) cyclodextrin molecules. These comprise of six (alpha), seven (beta), or eight (gamma) sugar molecules bound in a ring. Cyclodextrins are used in the food, pharmaceutical and chemical industries for their ability to hold other molecules within their central ring. Different molecules can be held by the different sized rings. They can be used to remove a targeted molecule from a substance (for example in the production of cholesterol free foods) or to store a molecule and release it when triggered to (for example, fragrances in tumble dryer sheets). Atoms are represented as spheres and are colour-coded: carbon (green), hydrogen (white) and oxygen (red).

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