Building Biologically Active Compounds Using Light


Certain biologically active compounds contain isoquinuclidine, a chemical structure containing nitrogen. And, these compounds are inclusive of synthetic drugs. Here, it is worthy to note that the certain aspects of the structure. First and foremost, it is three-dimensional and that allows interaction with proteins and enzymes more favorably than with two-dimensional molecules.

But, certain drawbacks associated with making isoquinuclidines and dehyrdoisoquinuclidines make discovery of new medicinal compounds tough. But, thanks to Prof. Frank Glorius and his team at the University of Munster, the gap stands plugged. As, they now present a novel method of carrying out the reaction, the details of which mark the journal called Chem.


A number of three-dimensional core structures preparation methods use adding up a molecule on to a flat structure. The idea is to reorganize internal bonds of molecules to create a new bond. And, the result is cycloaddition transformation.

But, the issue here is that a high energy barrier exists in isoquinuclidines. And, this barrier restricts the chemical reaction. Why, one may ask? And, the answer to that is the highly stable flat starting molecule, called pyridine. Because, consequently, simple heating is not sufficient for reaction to occur.

Study Analysis:

The novel method uses photocatalyst to aid reaction. Basically, it uses light energy from Blue LEDs to lead the carbon-carbon double bond into a state of excitement. As, these contain starting material, the light energy helps it get into a high energy state.

This paves the way for dehydroisoquinuclide which is a result of addition of pyridine to the excited molecule. In fact, the team from University of Munster presented 44 compounds which hold potential to change into isoquinuclidines and other useful structures.

Besides, there is another highlight of this study – photocatalyst is recyclable. Mainly, it functions efficiently for 10 times+. And, with computational calculations, scientists strove to decode the mechanic details of the reaction.

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