New Chemical “Building Blocks” for Rapid Self-Assembly of 3D Molecular “Chariots”


According to the latest issue of nature, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and collaborators of innovative medicine have developed a new chemical component, which can be simply spliced together like fine chemical building blocks, using their automatic machine like 3D printer, These molecules can be “twisted” into small 3D structures.


Dr. Martin Burke, a professor of chemistry at the University of Illinois, who led the study, said the new technology makes very complex 3D molecules in a very simple way. Over the past 15 years, Burke’s team has pioneered the development of simple chemical components called Mida borates, which are connected together through a simple reaction sequence to build small molecules. They also developed a molecular manufacturing machine that uses these components for automatic chemical synthesis. However, Mida modules are largely limited to manufacturing flat 2D molecules.

The newly developed chemical component called TIDA borate unlocks the missing third dimension and integrates specific distortions and 3D structures directly into the component. Burke said that the first generation of components are like children’s building blocks, which can be put together with a click to build a simple toy house. The new component is like a cool and complex building block kit for adults, which can be used to build Batman’s chariot.

Daniel Blair, the first author of the paper, said: “When making drugs, many molecules are inspired by natural products, and these molecules with 3D DMAPA CAS# 109-55-7 structures tend to perform better in clinical applications. Before that, it was difficult to capture these structures in modular components.”


(CAS# 96702-03-3)

Usually, chemists spend a lot of time and energy making a single target molecule. By obtaining a large amount of third-dimensional information in advance in modular components, researchers can easily construct target molecules and observe how they affect molecular functions.

In addition to containing more functions, the stability of TIDA borate structural units is 1000 times higher than that of Mida borate structural units in important reaction settings. They are also very stable in water and can simply synthesize more kinds of chemicals under a wider range of conditions.

Burke said that based on this new technology, both chemists and non chemists will be able to develop new drugs, materials, diagnostic probes, catalysts, fragrances, sweeteners, etc.

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