Laboratoire de Chimie et Biochimie
Pharmacologiques et Toxicologiques (LCBPT)
Université Paris Descartes
45 Rue des Saints Pères
75270 Paris Cedex 06

Benoît Colasson

Assistant Professor, HDR

Laboratoire de Chimie et Biochimie pharmacologiques et toxicologiques (LCBPT) – CNRS UMR 8601
Université Paris Descartes
45 Rue des Saints Pères
75270 Paris Cedex 06

Current research

Biomimetic metal complex models of metalloenzymes give access to structural and mechanistic information and lead to the discovery of new reactivity patterns to be used for syntheses in mild conditions. In these models, the crucial role of the enzymatic pocket is often neglected. Biomimetic models that associate a cavity and a metal complex highlight that the reactivity at the metal center depends on its environment. We wish to have a straightforward access to sophisticated biomimetic models by encapsulating standard complexes in self-assembled molecular cages held by hydrogen bonds or the hydrophobic effect. The encapsulation controls thermodynamically and kinetically the reactivity of the metal center. We propose to study the parameters for the encapsulation of several complexes and oxidation processes (via O2 activation) induced by copper and iron complexes. This strategy opens new perspectives for challenging reactions (e.g. methane oxidation).


Supramolecular chemistry; coordination chemistry; biomimetic chemistry; calixarene; resorcinarene; pillararene.


Curriculum Vitae


  • Since 2006: Assistant Professor in the group “Supramolecular Bioinorganic Chemsitry”
  • 20014-2016: Délégation CNRS, “Photo- and electro-active rotaxanes”. Group of Prof. A. Credi, University of Bologna, Italy.
  • 2011: Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches, Université Paris Descartes.
  • 2004-2006: Postdoctoral fellow, “Synthesis and studies of anion receptors”. Group of Prof. L. Fabbrizzi, University of Pavia, Italy.
  • 2003-2004: Postdoctoral fellow, “Use of Click Chemistry in organic synthesis. Application for the synthesis of new enzyme inhibitors”. Group of Prof. K. B. Sharpless, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, USA.
  • 2000-2003: PhD, “Borromean Rings and Metal-Containing Catenanes: New Synthetic Approaches”. Group of Dr. J-P. Sauvage, University of Strasbourg, France.


  • 2000-2003: PhD Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France. Group of Dr. Jean-Pierre Sauvage.
  • 1999-2000: Master degree « Transition Metal Chemistry », University Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France
  • 1997-2000: Master degree from Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon and Université Claude Bernard, Lyon, France.



  1. “Photoinduced electron transfer involving a naphthalimide chromophore in switchable and flexible [2]rotaxanes“, B. Colasson, A. Credi, B. Ventura, Chem. Eur. J., 2019, in press.
  1. “Gating the electron transfer at a monocopper centre through the supramolecular coordination of water molecules within a protein chamber mimic”, N. Le Poul, B.Colasson, G. Thiabaud, D. Jeanne Dit Fouque, C. Iacobucci, A. Memboeuf, B. Douziech, J. Řezáč, T. Prangé, la Lande, O. Reinaud, Y. Le Mest, Chem. Sci., 2018, 9, 8282-8290.
  1. “Selective EPR detection of primary amines in water with a calix[6]azacryptand-based copper(II) funnel complex ”, A. Inthasot, N. Le Poul, M. Luhmer, B. Colasson, I. Jabin, O. Reinaud, Inorg. Chem., 2018, 57, 3646-3655.
  1. “Remote electrochemical modulation of pKa in a rotaxane
    by co-conformational allostery“, G. Ragazzon, C. Schäfer, P. Franchi, S. Silvi, B. Colasson, M. Lucarini, A. Credi, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 2018, 115, 9385-9390.
  1. “Thermodynamic insights on a bistable acid-base switchable molecular shuttle with strongly shifted co-conformational equilibria“, G. Ragazzon, A. Credi, B. Colasson, Chem. Eur. J., 2017, 23, 2149-2156.
  1. “Light-driven molecular machines based on Ruthenium polypyridine complexes: strategies and recent advances “, B. Colasson, A. Credi, G. Ragazzon, Coord. Chem. Rev., 2016, 325, 125-134.
  1. “Kinetic and thermodynamic stabilization of metal complexes by introverted coordination in a calix[6]-azacryptand ”, A. Inthasot, E. Brunetti, M. Lejeune, N. Ménard, T. Prangé, L. Fusaro, G. Bruylants, O. Reinaud, M. Luhmer, I. Jabin, B. Colasson, Chem. Eur. J., 2016, 22, 4855-4862.
  1. “An artificial molecular transporter“, C. Schäfer, G. Ragazzon, B. Colasson, M. La Rosa, S. Silvi, A. Credi, Chemistry Open, 2016, 5, 120-124. 
  1. “Supramolecular assistance for the selective demethylation of calixarene-based receptors“, P. E. Danjou, G. De Leener, D. Cornut, S. Moerkerke, S. Mameri, A. Lascaux, J. Wouters, A. Brugnara, B. Colasson, O. Reinaud, I. Jabin, J. Org. Chem., 2015, 80, 5084-5091.
  1. “Electrochemically and chemically induced redox processes in molecular machines“, N. Le Poul, B. Colasson, Chem. Electro. Chem., 2015, 2, 475-496.
  1. “Biomimetic cavity-based metal complexes“, J.-N. Rebilly, B. Colasson, O. Bistri, D. Over, O. Reinaud, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2015, 44, 467-489.
  1. A water-soluble calix[4]arene-based ligand for the selective linear coordination and stabilization of copper(I) ion in aerobic conditions“, A. Maurin, S. Varatharajan, B. Colasson, O. Reinaud, Org. Lett., 2014, 16, 5426-5429.
  1. Selective recognition of fluoride anion in water by a copper(II) center embedded in a hydrophobic cavity“, A. Brugnara, F. Topic, K. Rissanen, A. de la Lande, B. Colasson, O. Reinaud, Chem. Sci., 2014, 5, 3897-3904.
  1. “A versatile strategy for appending a single functional group to a multifunctional host through host-guest covalent-capture“, J.-N. Rebilly, A. Hessani, B. Colasson, O. Reinaud, Org. Bio. Chem., 2014, 12, 7780-7785.
  1. “An induced-fit process through mechanical pivoting of aromatic walls in host-guest chemistry of calix[6]arene aza-cryptands“, A. Brugnara, L. Fusaro, M. Luhmer, T. Prangé, B. Colasson, O. Reinaud, Org. Bio. Chem., 2014, 12, 2754-2760.
  1. “Supramolecular assistance for the selective mono-functionalization of a calix[6]arene tris-carboxylic acid based receptor“ A. Inthasot, M.-D. Dang Thy, M. Lejeune, L. Fusaro, O. Reinaud, M. Luhmer, B. Colasson, I. Jabin, J. Org. Chem., 2014, 79, 1913-1919. 
  1. “Electrochemically-driven cup-and-ball CuI and CuII complexes”, N. Menard, Y. Hériot, Y. Le Mest, O. Reinaud, N. Le Poul, B. Colasson, Chem. Eur. J., 2013, 19, 10611-10618.
  1. “Proton-induced motion in a molecular cup-and-ball Zinc funnel complex”, N. Menard, D. Over, O. Reinaud, B. Colasson, Tetrahedron Lett., 2013, 54, 3398-3401.
  1. “Guest-triggered ZnII translocation and supramolecular nuclearity control in calix[6]arene-based complexes”, N. Bernier, N. Menard, B. Colasson, J.-N. Rebilly, O. Reinaud, Inorg. Chem., 2013, 52, 4683-4691.
  1. “Guest covalent capture by a host: a biomimetic strategy for the selective functionalization of a cavity”, N. Menard, O. Reinaud, B. Colasson, Chem. Eur. J., 2013, 19, 642-653.
  1. “Synthesis and studies of a water-soluble and air-stable CuI/CuII open-shell funnel complex”, G. Thiabaud, A. Brugnara, M. Carboni, N. Le Poul, B. Colasson, Y. Le Mest, O. Reinaud, Org. Lett., 2012, 14, 2500-2503.
  1. “Supramolecular control of hetero-multinuclear polytopic binding of metal ions (ZnII, CuI) at a single calix[6]arene-based scaffold”, J.-N. Rebilly, O. Bistri, B. Colasson, O. Reinaud, Inorg. Chem., 2012, 51, 5965-5974.
  1. Ipso-nitration of calix[6]azacryptands: intriguing effects of the small rim capping pattern on the large rim substitution selectivity” M. Lejeune, J.-F. Picron, A. Mattiuzzi, A. Lascaux, S. De Cesco, A. Brugnara, G. Thiabaud, U. Darbost, B. Colasson, O. Reinaud, I. Jabin, J. Org. Chem., 2012, 77, 3838-3845. 
  1. “Recognition of primary amines in water by a zinc funnel complex based on calix[6]arene”, O. Bistri, B. Colasson, O. Reinaud, Chem. Sci., 2012, 3, 811-818.
  1. “Tris(triazolyl) calix[6]arene-based zinc and copper funnel complexes: imidazole-like or pyridine-like? A comparative study”, B. Colasson, N. Le Poul, Y. Le Mest, O. Reinaud, Inorg. Chem., 2011, 50, 10985-10993.
  1. “Calorimetric study on coordination of tridentate imidazolyl calix[6]arene ligands to zinc ion in organic solvents”, K. Kano, M. Kondo, H. Inoue, H. Kitagishi, B. Colasson, O. Reinaud, Inorg. Chem., 2011, 50, 6353-6360.
  1. “Electrochemically triggered double translocation of two different metal ions with a ditopic calix[6]arene”, B. Colasson, N. Le Poul, Y. Le Mest, O. Reinaud, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2010, 132, 4393-4398.
  1. “Spontaneous formation of vesicles in a catanionic association involving a head and tail functionalized amino-calix[6]arene”, C. Bize, J. C. Garrigues, M. Blanzat, I. Rico-Lattes, O. Bistri, B. Colasson, O. Reinaud, Chem. Commun., 2010, 46, 586-588.
  1. Solid-state chemistry at an isolated copper(I) center with O2”, G. Thiabaud, G. Guillemot, I. Schmitz-Afonso, B. Colasson, O. Reinaud, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2009, 48, 7383-7386.
  1. “Selective hetero-trisfunctionalization of the large rim of a biomimetic calix[6]arene using host-guest chemistry as a synthetic tool”, B. Colasson, O. Reinaud, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2008, 130, 15226-15227.
  1. “Redox active cage for electrochemical sensing of anions”, V. Amendola, M. Boiocchi, B. Colasson, L. Fabbrizzi, E. Monzani, M. J. Douton-Rodriguez, C. Spadini, Inorg. Chem., 2008, 47, 4808-4816.
  1. “A ditopic calix[6]arene ligand with N-methylimidazole and 1,2,3-triazole substituents: synthesis and coordination with Zn(II) cations”, B. Colasson, M. Save, P. Milko, J. Roithová, D. Schröder, O. Reinaud, Org. Lett., 2007, 24, 4987-4990.
  1. “Redox driven intramolecular anion translocation between a metal center and a H-bond donating compartment”, V. Amendola, B. Colasson, L. Fabbrizzi, M.-J. Rodriguez Douton, Chem. Eur. J., 2007, 13, 4988-4997.
  1. “The template synthesis of dimetallic complexes”, M. Boiocchi, B. Colasson, L. Fabbrizzi, E. Monti, Inorg. Chimica Acta, 2007, 360, 1163-1169.
  1. “A metal based trisimidazolium cage that provides six C-H hydrogen-bond-donor fragments and includes anions”, V. Amendola, M. Boiocchi, B. Colasson, L. Fabbrizzi, M.-J. Rodriguez Douton, F. Ugozzoli, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2006, 45, 6920-6924.
  1. “Metal controlled assembling and selectivity of a urea based anion receptor”, V. Amendola, M. Boiocchi, B. Colasson, L. Fabbrizzi, Inorg., Chem. 2006, 45, 6138-6147.
  1. “Allylic azide rearrangement: achieving selectivity”, A. K. Feldman, B. Colasson, K. B. Sharpless, V. V. Fokin, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2005, 127, 13444-13445.
  1. “Synthesis of multi-1,10-phenanthroline ligands with 1,3-phenylene linkers and their lithium complexes”, C. Dietrich-Buchecker, B. Colasson, D. Jouvenot, J.-P. Sauvage, Chem. Eur. J., 2005, 11, 4374-4386.
  1. In situ click chemistry: enzyme-generated inhibitors of carbonic anhydrase-II”, V. P. Mocharla, B. Colasson, L. Lee, S. Roeper, K. B. Sharpless, C.-H. Wong, H. Kolb, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2005, 44, 116-120.
  1. “Molecular knots”, C. Dietrich-Buchecker, B. Colasson, J.-P. Sauvage in Topics in Current Chemistry, volume 249, editors: Vögtle/Dötz/Schalley, Springer-Verlag, Berlin-Heidelberg-New-York, 2005, 261-283.
  1. “One-pot synthesis of 1,4-disubstituted 1,2,3-triazoles from in situ generated azides”, A.K. Feldman, B. Colasson, V.V. Fokin, Org. Lett., 2004, 6, 3897-3899.
  1. “Irreversible but non-covalent Ru(II)-pyridine bond: its use for the formation of [2]-catenanes”, B. Colasson, J.-P. Sauvage, Inorg. Chem., 2004, 43, 1895-1901.
  1. “Quantitative formation of [2]-catenanes using copper(I) and palladium(II) as templating and assembling centers: the entwining route and the threading approach”, C. Dietrich-Buchecker, B. Colasson, M. Fujita, A. Hori, N. Geum, S. Sakamoto, K. Yamaguchi, J.-P. Sauvage, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2003, 125, 5717-5725. 
  1. “Towards molecular machines and motors based on transition metal complexes”, B. Colasson, C. Dietrich-Buchecker, M. C. Jimenez-Molero, J.-P. Sauvage, J. Phys. Org. Chem., 2002, 15, 476-483.
  1. “Improved synthesis of 5-5’’-dibromo-2,2’:6’,2’’-terpyridine”, B. Colasson, C. Dietrich-Buchecker, J.-P. Sauvage, Synlett, 2002, 2, 271-272.
  1. Diam-BINAP; a highly efficient monomer for the synthesis of heterogeneous enantioselective catalysts” R. ter Halle, B. Colasson, E. Schulz, M. Spagnol, M. Lemaire, Tetrahedron Lett., 2000, 41, 643-646.


  1. “Optically active linear polymer used as ligand in the preparation of metallic complexes designed for asymetric catalysis” M. Lemaire, R. ter Hall, E. Schulz, B. Colasson, M. Spagnol, C. Saluzzo, T. Lamouille, PCT Int. Appl., 2000, 102pp. ( Fr. Patent 9902510,1 March 1999)