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Combinatorial chemistry. The basic principles. What is it about?. Synthesising a large number of similar compounds in a short period of time. Compounds that are generated are analogues of compounds that are already biologically active

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Combinatorial chemistry

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Combinatorial chemistry l.jpg

Combinatorial chemistry

The basic principles


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What is it about?

  • Synthesising a large number of similar compounds in a short period of time.

  • Compounds that are generated are analogues of compounds that are already biologically active

  • Chemists want to find a new medicine that is more effective than an existing one, or causes fewer side effects


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A simple model

  • Take some beads made from a polymer

    2. React the beads with a group called a linker

    3. Mix the bead in with an alcohol that you want to use in a chemical reaction. The linker will bind to it and hold it on the bead.


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A simple model

  • Have 6 reaction vessels each containing a different acyl chloride. Put a 1/6 of your beads into a mesh bag and put into a container.


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A simple model

  • Esterification occurs forming 6 different esters.

    6. The beads are removed from the vessel by lifting up the mesh bag. They are washed to remove any unreacted acyl chloride


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A simple model

7. A reaction is used to break the linker group down.

8. The polymer beads are reused

9. You have made 6 different esters which can now be tested for biological activity


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A simple model

10. How many esters would you have made if you had attached 6 different alcohols to the beads?


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A simple model

Large numbers of similar compounds have

been synthesised in a very short period

of time. Imagine how much longer it would

take if you did the reaction with one alcohol

and acyl chloride, and then did it again with a

different acyl chloride, and then again,

and again…. 36 times!


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