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

Ultra-flat circuits will have unique properties: Rice University lab studies 2-D hybrids to see how they differ from common electronics July 25th, 2016

Attosecond physics: Mapping electromagnetic waveforms July 25th, 2016

Borrowing from pastry chefs, engineers create nanolayered composites: Method to stack hundreds of nanoscale layers could open new vistas in materials science July 25th, 2016

Integration of novel materials with silicon chips makes new 'smart' devices possible July 25th, 2016

Chemistry

New reaction for the synthesis of nanostructures July 21st, 2016

Pushing a single-molecule switch: An international team of researchers from Donostia International Physics Center, Fritz-Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society, University of Liverpool, and the Polish Academy of Sciences has shown a new way to operate a single-molecule switch July 19th, 2016

Rice's 'antenna-reactor' catalysts offer best of both worlds: Technology marries light-harvesting nanoantennas to high-reaction-rate catalysts July 18th, 2016

Researchers improve catalyst efficiency for clean industries: Method reduces use of expensive platinum July 8th, 2016

Possible Futures

Designing climate-friendly concrete, from the nanoscale up: New understanding of concrete’s properties could increase lifetime of the building material, decrease emissions July 25th, 2016

Ultra-flat circuits will have unique properties: Rice University lab studies 2-D hybrids to see how they differ from common electronics July 25th, 2016

Attosecond physics: Mapping electromagnetic waveforms July 25th, 2016

Borrowing from pastry chefs, engineers create nanolayered composites: Method to stack hundreds of nanoscale layers could open new vistas in materials science July 25th, 2016

Academic/Education

News from Quorum: The College of New Jersey use the Quorum Cryo-SEM preparation system in a project to study ice crystals in high altitude clouds July 19th, 2016

Leti and Korea Institute of Science and Technology to Explore Collaboration on Advanced Technologies for Digital Era July 14th, 2016

SUNY Poly Celebrates Its 10th Year Exhibiting at SEMICON West with Cutting Edge Developments in Integrated Photonics and Power Electronics July 8th, 2016

FEI and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Establish New Electron Microscopy ‘Centre of Excellence’: Centre of Excellence involves materials and life sciences research and technical collaboration July 5th, 2016

Nanomedicine

Accurate design of large icosahedral protein nanocages pushes bioengineering boundaries: Scientists used computational methods to build ten large, two-component, co-assembling icosahedral protein complexes the size of small virus coats July 25th, 2016

New remote-controlled microrobots for medical operations July 23rd, 2016

New superconducting coil improves MRI performance: UH-led research offers higher resolution, shorter scan time July 23rd, 2016

New probe developed for improved high resolution measurement of brain temperature: Improved accuracy could allow researchers to measure brain temperature in times of trauma when small deviations in temperature can lead to additional brain injury July 23rd, 2016

Announcements

Borrowing from pastry chefs, engineers create nanolayered composites: Method to stack hundreds of nanoscale layers could open new vistas in materials science July 25th, 2016

Integration of novel materials with silicon chips makes new 'smart' devices possible July 25th, 2016

Accurate design of large icosahedral protein nanocages pushes bioengineering boundaries: Scientists used computational methods to build ten large, two-component, co-assembling icosahedral protein complexes the size of small virus coats July 25th, 2016

XEI Scientific Partners with Electron Microscopy Sciences to Promote and Sell its Products in North and South America July 25th, 2016

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







Car Brands
Buy website traffic