Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Unique method creates correct mirror image of molecule

22.05.2013
Many molecules have a right and a left form, just like shoes.

In pharmaceuticals, it is important that the correct form of the molecule is used. Researchers at the University of Gothenburg have been able to produce the one mirror image by using crystals with special properties. This can have a major impact on the production of pharmaceuticals.


Researchers at the University of Gothenburg have been able to produce the one mirror image by using crystals with special properties. This can have a major impact on the production of pharmaceuticals. Photo: Susanne Olsson

Molecules that are the same, but mirror images are called chiral after the Greek word for hand.

The mirror image forms of chiral molecules have identical properties except when they interact with other chiral molecules, sort of like the left shoe fitting the left foot better than the right shoe.

Our bodies contain chiral molecules, such as amino acids in proteins and sugar molecules in our genetic material. But in all living organisms, only one of the two mirror image forms is used.
"Why it is like this is a mystery to the scientific community, but this is of major significance, to the production of pharmaceuticals for instance," says Susanne Olsson at the Department for Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg.

The mirror images can have different effects in our bodies where one can provide the desired effect while the other in the worst case can give rise to serious side effects.

"Today, all new pharmaceuticals must contain only the mirror image form with the desired effect. But when a chiral molecule is produced in a laboratory, equal amounts of the two mirror images are obtained," says Susanne Olsson.

To-date, the active mirror image form has been produced by adding a mirror image form of another substance. The problem is then that this substance must be separated from the pharmaceutical.
Being able to produce the desired mirror image form without having to add mirror image forms of some other substances is considered by some chemists to be impossible.

"But by using compounds where the mirror image molecules switch between being the right form and the left form, I have succeeded in getting all crystals to contain only the one mirror image. I have thereby done the impossible, produced only the one mirror image form without using any other substance," says Susanne Olsson.

She believes that the method is industrially usable since crystallisation is a process that is good for large-scale production.

Link to the dissertation: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/32316

Supervisor: Professor Mikael Håkansson

Contact: Susanne Olsson, Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Gothenburg,
mobile phone +46 0709 609 757
susanneol@hotmail.com

Annika Koldenius | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University

nachricht How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system
26.05.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>