Crystallographic and theoretical studies of an inclusion complex of β-cyclodextrin with fentanyl

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The crystal structure of an inclusion complex of β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) with fentanyl was determined by single crystal X-ray diffraction analysis. The crystal belongs to the triclinic space group P1 and the complex comprises one fentanyl, two β-CD, and several water molecules. β-CD and fentanyl form a host-guest inclusion complex at a ratio of 2:1 and the asymmetric unit of the complex contains two host molecules (β-CDs) in a head-to-head arrangement that form dimers through hydrogen bonds between the secondary hydroxyl groups of β-CD and one guest molecule. Fentanyl is totally contained within the β-CD cavity and the structure of the phenylethyl part of fentanyl inside the dimeric cavity of the complex is disordered. Furthermore, theoretical molecular conformational calculations were conducted to clarify the mobility of the guest molecule in the β-CD cavity using CONFLEX software. Crystal optimization and crystal energy calculations were also conducted. The results of the theoretical calculations confirmed that the conformation of disorder part 1, which was high in occupancy by crystal structure analysis, was more stable. The phenylethyl part of fentanyl existed in several stable conformations.

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