Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

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

Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers July 20th, 2018

The relationship between charge density waves and superconductivity? It's complicated July 19th, 2018

Sirrus's Issued Patent Portfolio Continues To Accelerate July 18th, 2018

FEFU scientists reported on toxicity of carbon and silicon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers: Nanoparticles with a wide range of applying, including medicine, damage cells of microalgae Heterosigma akashivo badly. July 18th, 2018

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier: Rice U., Northwestern researchers make and test atom-thick boron's unique domains July 17th, 2018

Chemistry

Sirrus's Issued Patent Portfolio Continues To Accelerate July 18th, 2018

Possible Futures

Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers July 20th, 2018

The relationship between charge density waves and superconductivity? It's complicated July 19th, 2018

FEFU scientists reported on toxicity of carbon and silicon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers: Nanoparticles with a wide range of applying, including medicine, damage cells of microalgae Heterosigma akashivo badly. July 18th, 2018

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier: Rice U., Northwestern researchers make and test atom-thick boron's unique domains July 17th, 2018

Academic/Education

The Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Tsukuba near Tokyo in Japan uses Deben's ARM2 detector to better understand catalytic reaction mechanisms June 27th, 2018

Powering the 21st Century with Integrated Photonics: UCSB-Led Team Selected for Demonstration of a Novel Waveguide Platform Which is Transparent Throughout the MWIR and LWIR Spectral Bands June 19th, 2018

SUNY Poly Professor Eric Lifshin Selected for ‘Fellow of the Microanalysis Society’ Position for Significant Contributions to Microanalysis June 13th, 2018

Grand Opening of UC Irvine Materials Research Institute (IMRI) to Spotlight JEOL Center for Nanoscale Solutions: Renowned Materials Scientists to Present at the 1st International Symposium on Advanced Microscopy and Spectroscopy (ISAMS) April 18th, 2018

Nanomedicine

Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication July 13th, 2018

UMBC researchers develop nanoparticles to reduce internal bleeding caused by blast trauma July 13th, 2018

Researchers identify cost-cutting option in treating nail fungus with nanotechnology: GW researcher Adam Friedman, M.D., studied the potential use of nitric oxide-releasing nanoparticles to improve onychomycosis treatment July 11th, 2018

New sensor technology enables super-sensitive live monitoring of human biomolecules July 3rd, 2018

Announcements

Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers July 20th, 2018

The relationship between charge density waves and superconductivity? It's complicated July 19th, 2018

Sirrus's Issued Patent Portfolio Continues To Accelerate July 18th, 2018

FEFU scientists reported on toxicity of carbon and silicon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers: Nanoparticles with a wide range of applying, including medicine, damage cells of microalgae Heterosigma akashivo badly. July 18th, 2018

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



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project