News

There is so much happening across Glasgow and the West of Scotland and our news portal will allow us to share it with you.

‘Chemputer’ promises app-controlled revolution for drug production

University of Glasgow

A radical new method of producing drug molecules, which uses downloadable blueprints to easily and reliably synthesise organic chemicals via a programmable ‘chemputer’, could be set to democratise the pharmaceutical industry, Glasgow scientists say.

In a new paper published online in the journal Science on November 29, researchers from the University of Glasgow present for the first time how synthesis of important drug molecules can be achieved in an affordable and modular chemical-robot system they call a chemputer.

While recent advances in chemical production have allowed some chemical compounds to be produced at laboratory scale via automated systems, the chemputer is underpinned by a new universal and interoperable standard for writing and sharing chemical recipes, developed by the University of Glasgow team.

The key was to develop a general abstraction for chemistry that can be made universal, practical, and driven by a computer program.

Those chemical recipes, run on a computer program the team calls the ‘chempiler’, instruct the chemputer how to produce molecules on-demand, more affordably and safely than ever possible before.

The researchers claim the ability to use a universal code will allow chemists all round the world to convert their recipe into digital code, allowing others to share and download recipes similar in a similar way to music is today on iTunes or Spotify.

The chemputing approach was designed and developed by Professor Lee Cronin, the University of Glasgow’s regius chair of chemistry.

Professor Cronin said: “This approach is a key step in the digitisation of chemistry, and will allow the universal assembly of complex molecules on demand, democratising the ability to discover and make new molecules using a simple software app and a modular chemputer.

“Making recipes for drugs available online, and synthesisable via a compact chemputer system, could allow medical professionals in remote parts of the world to create life-saving drugs as and when they are required, for example, or researchers to easily share newly-developed drug molecules for innovative treatments.

"The potential applications are enormous, and we’re very excited to be leading on this revolutionary new approach to organic chemistry.”

In the paper, the team of researchers from the university’s School of Chemistry demonstrate the potential of the system by producing three different pharmaceuticals in one robot system, simply by changing the software and input chemicals.

They created the sleeping drug Nytol, seizure medication Rufinamide, and erectile dysfunction treatment Viagra in yields comparable to those achieved in traditional human-controlled synthesis.

The desktop-sized chemputer itself draws raw chemical materials in liquid form into and out of a series of modules capable of performing the operations necessary to complete a synthetic sequence.

The modules developed for the system consist of a reaction module, a jacketed filtration set-up capable of being heated or cooled, an automated liquid-liquid separation module and a solvent evaporation module.

This research is funded by the University of Glasgow complex chemistry initiative as well as the European Research Council and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. 

Additionally, the business activity of DeepMatter Group Plc, the AIM listed company of which Professor Cronin is the founding scientific director, is the digitization of chemical space.

 

Links

University of Glasgow


No Comments...


Add a comment

08 02 02 02 Audio Captcha
Add Comment
 

 

What’s happening

This is a living, breathing website with regular updates on news, blogs and events. It’s the place to come back to again and again if you want to know what’s happening in the science and technology world in Glasgow and the West of Scotland.

Subscribe to keep up to date on our latest news, blog posts and events.

News

   

Glasgow Kelvin College and Indian partners create apprenticeships for people with additional support needs

Glasgow Kelvin College has welcomed a delegation of partners from India and announced plans to devel...

Read more...


IBioIC leads successful bid to boost Scotland’s ‘bio-revolution’

Ambitious plans to boost the economic impact of Scotland’s burgeoning industrial biotechnology sec...

Read more...


Ground-breaking pancreatic cancer trial reaches patient milestone

A ground-breaking pancreatic cancer trial, which aims to match patients with more targeted and effec...

Read more...

Blog

   

Your guide to all the STEM events at Aye Write! 2019

Explore what’s on offer at Glasgow’s book festival this March. ...

Read more...


You might not know it yet, but industrial biotechnology is vital to our future

Roger Kilburn, CEO of the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre, explains how IB is changing th...

Read more...


Equality Through Innovation: The Comedian

Anna Devitt is using the power of comedy to help disadvantaged young people in Scotland. ...

Read more...

Events

   

Aye Write! Glasgow's Book Festival

Aye Write! remains committed to celebrating Scottish and international writers and writing. The 2019...

Read more...


Bhutan in the Footsteps of George Sherriff

A fabulous exhibition of Sherriff's plant expedition trips to Bhutan in the 1930s and 1940s where he...

Read more...


Wildlife Citizen Science

A talk on conservation surveys and bioblitzes. ...

Read more...

previous post next post