Ions—charged atoms or molecules—play an important role in nature, in our bodies as well as for science and technology. It is often necessary to trap, remove, mask, stabilize, or transport ions, whether in the body or the lab. With positively charged metal ions, this goal is often achieved with chelate ligands, organic molecules that tightly grab hold of the ions.
However, it is difficult to develop suitable chelators for negatively charged anions such as chloride and fluoride. Amar Flood and Yongjun Li at Indiana University (Bloomington, USA) have now synthesized a donut-shaped molecule that tightly and selectively takes chloride ions up into its center. As they report in the journal Angewandte Chemie , bridging hydrogen bonds are responsible for holding the chloride ion in place.
Chelators (from the Greek word for pincer) are small organic molecules that grab onto atoms or other small molecules, holding them by means of multiple binding sites. Chelate therapy is used to absorb and remove heavy metals in cases of poisoning, for example. It is a breeze to bind cations in this way. The development of organic molecules whose positively charged “arms” are arranged so as to tightly and selectively bind anions has not been successful to date.
Flood and Li found their new anion chelator more or less by coincidence when they were producing various macrocycles by means of an inexpensive, flexible synthetic technique known as “click chemistry”, which is a simple and efficient way to put molecules together into large entities. The researchers “clicked” four small rings together to form a large ring. This process also generates four more rings, made of three nitrogen atoms and two carbon atoms (triazole rings). These are not only by-products of the click chemistry, they are essential for binding the chloride ion, which can comfortably nestle into the empty center of the large donut-shaped ring. The triazoles hold on to the chloride ion by means of bridging hydrogen bonds, which is amazing because it was previously assumed that hydrogen bonds were not strong enough to form a sufficiently stable bond between a halogen ion and a chelate complex. It is probably vital that the binding sites in the structurally stable macrocycle are preorganized into the correct configuration so that the chelator does not have to rearrange itself around the ion before binding can occur, as is the case for open-chain chelators.
The four other nonbinding rings of the macrocycle can be varied almost as desired, so the researchers hope to generate a whole family of new chelators that are able to bind a spectrum of other anions with high specificity.
Author: Amar H. Flood, Indiana University, Bloomington (USA), http://flood.chem.indiana.edu/
Title: Pure C-H Hydrogen Bonding to Chloride Ions: A Preorganized and Rigid Macrocyclic Receptor
Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2008, 47, No. 14, 2649–2652, doi: 10.1002/anie.200704717
Solving the efficiency of Gram-negative bacteria
22.03.2019 | Harvard University
Bacteria bide their time when antibiotics attack
22.03.2019 | Rice University
DESY and MPSD scientists create high-order harmonics from solids with controlled polarization states, taking advantage of both crystal symmetry and attosecond electronic dynamics. The newly demonstrated technique might find intriguing applications in petahertz electronics and for spectroscopic studies of novel quantum materials.
The nonlinear process of high-order harmonic generation (HHG) in gases is one of the cornerstones of attosecond science (an attosecond is a billionth of a...
Nano- and microtechnology are promising candidates not only for medical applications such as drug delivery but also for the creation of little robots or flexible integrated sensors. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have created magnetic microparticles, with a newly developed method, that could pave the way for building micro-motors or guiding drugs in the human body to a target, like a tumor. The preparation of such structures as well as their remote-control can be regulated using magnetic fields and therefore can find application in an array of domains.
The magnetic properties of a material control how this material responds to the presence of a magnetic field. Iron oxide is the main component of rust but also...
Due to the special arrangement of its molecules, a new coating made of corn starch is able to repair small scratches by itself through heat: The cross-linking via ring-shaped molecules makes the material mobile, so that it compensates for the scratches and these disappear again.
Superficial micro-scratches on the car body or on other high-gloss surfaces are harmless, but annoying. Especially in the luxury segment such surfaces are...
The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first image of the surface magnetic field of another star. In a paper in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a Zeeman- Doppler-Image of the surface of the magnetically active star II Pegasi.
A special technique allows astronomers to resolve the surfaces of faraway stars. Those are otherwise only seen as point sources, even in the largest telescopes...
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have proposed a way to create a completely new source of radiation. Ultra-intense light pulses consist of the motion of a single wave and can be described as a tsunami of light. The strong wave can be used to study interactions between matter and light in a unique way. Their research is now published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.
"This source of radiation lets us look at reality through a new angle - it is like twisting a mirror and discovering something completely different," says...
11.03.2019 | Event News
01.03.2019 | Event News
28.02.2019 | Event News
22.03.2019 | Life Sciences
22.03.2019 | Life Sciences
22.03.2019 | Information Technology