New machine for 3-D printing of small molecules
According to Live Science report, a new device developed by researchers could serve as the 3-D printer for chemistry experts. According to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the machine can assemble complex molecule structures according to the instructions and this could help develop new drugs and other technologies in which small molecules are required.
According to Burke, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist, "We wanted to take a very complex process, chemical synthesis, and make it simple. Simplicity enables automation, which, in turn, can broadly enable discovery and bring the substantial power of making molecules to nonspecialists".
It is very difficult to create smaller molecules in a lab, under normal conditions. It may take years to develop smaller molecules. Researchers broke these smaller molecules into much smaller ‘building blocks’ which could be assembled into structures after that.
The research team then created a ‘catch-and-release’ method in order to automate the building blocks. This method adds one piece at a time, and eliminates excess components before adding the next piece.
With this machine, scientists built 14 different classes of small molecule, which consisted of the molecules, which were earlier considered to be difficult to manufacture. Researchers look forward to begin using this new technology in the research of anti-fungal medications.
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