Nanotechnology Now





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Two Catalysts Are Better Than One

Karl Scheidt
Karl Scheidt

Abstract:
New catalytic process could be used to create pharmaceuticals with less chemical waste

By Megan Fellman

Two Catalysts Are Better Than One

Evanston, IL | Posted on July 28th, 2010

Much like two children in the back seat of a car, it can be challenging to get two catalysts to cooperate for the greater good. Now Northwestern University chemists have gotten two catalysts to work together on the same task -- something easily done by nature but a difficult thing to do in the laboratory.

The findings, published by the journal Nature Chemistry, will allow medicinal chemists to invent new reactions and produce valuable bioactive compounds faster with less impact on the environment.

Catalysis is inherently green chemistry. Catalytic reactions typically employ a single molecule (a catalyst) to enhance a reaction or make a reaction possible that wouldn't otherwise be possible. Since a catalyst only needs to be used in very small amounts, the potential to control chemical processes while reducing waste makes catalysis very attractive. The Northwestern team wanted to see if they could turn a good thing -- a single catalyst -- into something even better by employing two catalysts.

"In our new approach, we discovered a pair of catalysts that work cooperatively to produce valuable compounds for biomedical research, which is important given the demand for new pharmaceuticals of all kinds," said senior author Karl A. Scheidt, the Irving M. Klotz Professor of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. "Cooperative catalysis -- using two catalysts instead of just one -- will help us develop important compounds faster and with less waste. It also opens up an exciting new area of catalysis to explore."

Scheidt and his team started with simple stock chemicals and ended up with a number of compounds that are potentially bioactive and similar to each other. In the reaction, catalyst one (a magnesium salt that acts as an electron-deficient "Lewis acid") activates one molecule, and catalyst two (a mimic of thiamine, a carbene and an electron-rich "Lewis base") activates a second molecule simultaneously. The two activated substrates come together. The result is rapid, efficient and controlled production of large amounts of a molecule called gamma-lactam, a key building block for many pharmaceuticals.

On paper, the two catalysts should bind together and not be that effective as catalysts, but, it turns out, they don't interact that tightly. Instead, when there is a substrate for each catalyst, they work in tandem. Before this discovery, no one had identified an electron-deficient metal Lewis acid that works with a carbene. (A carbene is a highly reactive, transient molecule in which a carbon atom has only two bonds versus the normal four.)

"Nature employs a lot of catalysis -- to do such crucial biological transformations as acylations, oxidations and reductions, but it's hard to do what nature does in a flask," said Scheidt, director of Northwestern's Center for Molecular Innovation and Drug Discovery. "Getting two catalysts that are seemingly incompatible to work together is a significant advance. Now we have a great first step to realizing the full potential of this powerful cooperative catalysis strategy. Ultimately, this approach should allow chemists to combine simple components under catalytic conditions to generate new bioactive compounds of high value."

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation supported the research.

In addition to Scheidt, other authors of the paper are Dustin E. A. Raup, Benoit Cardinal-David and Dane Holte, all from Northwestern.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Megan Fellman

Copyright © Northwestern University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Leti Announces Launch of First European Nanomedicine Characterisation Laboratory: Project Combines Expertise of 9 Partners in 8 Countries to Foster Nanomedicine Innovation and Facilitate Regulatory Approval July 1st, 2015

Bruker Introduces Second-Generation Inspire Nanochemical Imaging Solution: Featuring Unique PeakForce IR and IR EasyAlign Technology July 1st, 2015

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Completes Acquisition of IBM Microelectronics Business: Transaction adds differentiating technologies, world-class technologists, and intellectual property July 1st, 2015

Samsung's New Graphene Technology Will Double Life Of Your Lithium-Ion Battery July 1st, 2015

Chemistry

Carnegie Mellon chemists characterize 3-D macroporous hydrogels: Methods will allow researchers to develop new 'smart' materials June 30th, 2015

Visible Light-Sensitive Photocatalysts Used for Purification of Contaminated Water in Iran June 30th, 2015

The Hydrogen-Fuel cell will revolutionize the economy of the world: New non-platinum and nanosized catalyst for polymer electrolyte fuel cell June 29th, 2015

X-rays and electrons join forces to map catalytic reactions in real-time: New technique combines electron microscopy and synchrotron X-rays to track chemical reactions under real operating conditions June 29th, 2015

Possible Futures

Harris & Harris Group Portfolio Company D-Wave Systems Announces 1,000 Qubit Processor and is Discussed in the Economist June 23rd, 2015

Global Nanoclays Market Analysis, Size, Growth, Trends And Segment Forecasts, 2015 To 2022: Grand View Research, Inc June 15th, 2015

Healthcare Nanotechnology (Nanomedicine) Market Size To 2020 June 5th, 2015

Environmental Issues to Hamper Growth of Global Nanocomposites Market June 4th, 2015

Academic/Education

Oxford Instruments’ TritonXL Cryofree dilution refrigerator selected for the Oxford NQIT Quantum Technology Hub project June 30th, 2015

Rice University boots up powerful microscopes: New electron microscopes will capture images at subnanometer resolution June 29th, 2015

Six top Catalan research centres constitute ‘The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology’ to pursue a joint scientific endeavour June 27th, 2015

Lancaster University revolutionary quantum technology research receives funding boost June 22nd, 2015

Nanomedicine

Leti Announces Launch of First European Nanomedicine Characterisation Laboratory: Project Combines Expertise of 9 Partners in 8 Countries to Foster Nanomedicine Innovation and Facilitate Regulatory Approval July 1st, 2015

Carnegie Mellon chemists characterize 3-D macroporous hydrogels: Methods will allow researchers to develop new 'smart' materials June 30th, 2015

Chitosan coated, chemotherapy packed nanoparticles may target cancer stem cells June 30th, 2015

Researchers from the UCA, key players in a pioneering study that may explain the origin of several digestive diseases June 30th, 2015

Announcements

Leti Announces Launch of First European Nanomedicine Characterisation Laboratory: Project Combines Expertise of 9 Partners in 8 Countries to Foster Nanomedicine Innovation and Facilitate Regulatory Approval July 1st, 2015

Bruker Introduces Second-Generation Inspire Nanochemical Imaging Solution: Featuring Unique PeakForce IR and IR EasyAlign Technology July 1st, 2015

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Completes Acquisition of IBM Microelectronics Business: Transaction adds differentiating technologies, world-class technologists, and intellectual property July 1st, 2015

Samsung's New Graphene Technology Will Double Life Of Your Lithium-Ion Battery July 1st, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project