The design, synthesis and binding characteristic of a novel class of molecular receptors are described. Naphthalene subunits were adjoined to construct molecular tubes with defined cavities. These receptors exhibited a fluorescent response to titration with acyl lipid guests. One of the tubes exhibited shape selective recognition of straight chain lipid guests against lipids with branching or unsaturation. Analysis of the characteristics of these receptors enabled design revisions for the preparation of a second generation series of tubes which resulted in improved binding characteristics and fluorescent response.