Organic synthesis in a modular robotic system driven by a chemical programming language

Steiner, S. et al. (2019) Organic synthesis in a modular robotic system driven by a chemical programming language. Science, 363, eaav2211. (doi:10.1126/science.aav2211) (PMID:30498165)

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Abstract

The synthesis of complex organic compounds is largely a manual process that is often incompletely documented. To address these shortcomings, we developed an abstraction that maps commonly reported methodological instructions into discrete steps amenable to automation. These unit operations were implemented in a modular robotic platform using a chemical programming language which formalizes and controls the assembly of the molecules. We validated the concept by directing the automated system to synthesize three pharmaceutical compounds, Nytol, rufinamide, and sildenafil, without any human intervention. Yields and purities of products and intermediates were comparable to or better than those achieved manually. The syntheses are captured as digital code that can be published, versioned, and transferred flexibly between platforms with no modification, thereby greatly enhancing reproducibility and reliable access to complex molecules.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Andreou, Dr Anna and Angelone, Dr Davide and Granda, Dr Jaroslaw and Hinkley, Dr Trevor and Aragon Camarasa, Dr Gerardo and Glatzel, Dr Stefan and Keenan, Mr Graham and Steiner, Mr Sebastian and Cronin, Professor Leroy and Wolf, Mr Jakob and Kitson, Dr Philip
Authors: Steiner, S., Wolf, J., Glatzel, S., Andreou, A., Granda, J. M., Keenan, G., Hinkley, T., Aragon-Camarasa, G., Kitson, P. J., Angelone, D., and Cronin, L.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Chemistry
Journal Name:Science
Publisher:American Association for the Advancement of Science
ISSN:0036-8075
ISSN (Online):1095-9203
Published Online:29 November 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 American Association for the Advancement of Science
First Published:First published in Science 363:eaav2211
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
503295Molecular-Metal-Oxide-nanoelectronicS (M-MOS): Achieving the Molecular LimitLeroy CroninEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/H024107/1CHEM - CHEMISTRY
577391Programmable Molecular Metal Oxides (PMMOs) - From Fundamentals to ApplicationLeroy CroninEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/J015156/1CHEM - CHEMISTRY
605821The Multi-Corder: Poly-Sensor TechnologyDavid CummingEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/K021966/1ENG - ENGINEERING ELECTRONICS & NANO ENG
633821A Digital DNA Nano Writer (DNA NanoFab)Leroy CroninEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/L015668/1CHEM - CHEMISTRY
646611Programmable 'Digital' Synthesis for Discovery and Scale-up of Molecules, Clusters and NanomaterialsLeroy CroninEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/L023652/1CHEM - CHEMISTRY
685741SMARTPOM: Artificial-Intelligence Driven Discovery and Synthesis of Polyoxometalate ClustersLeroy CroninEuropean Research Council (ERC)670467CHEM - CHEMISTRY