nanotimes News in Brief
10-10/11 :: October/November 2010
Pharmaceutical Synthesis // IBN Scientists Develop Green Technique to Transform Carbon Dioxide into Useful Compounds
IBN Pharmaceuticals Synthesis and Green Chemistry Team (from left to right): Dr Dingyi Yu, Postdoctoral Fellow, and Dr Yugen Zhang, Team Leader and Principal Research Scientist. © Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) in Singapore
cientists at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) in Singapore have
reported another breakthrough in their quest to develop green technologies for pharmaceuticals syn- thesis. Dr Dingyi Yu, postdoctoral fellow, and Dr Yugen Zhang, team leader and principal research scientist, have devised a new environmentally friendly technique to transform carbon dioxide into highly functio- nalized propiolic acids, which are basic building blocks for the synthesis of a wide range of pharma- ceuticals such as cholesterolreducing drugs and pep- tidomimetic and other small molecule inhibitors.
IBN’s approach involves the direct activation of the C-H bond and carboxylation of the terminal alkynes using a novel copper and copper-N-heterocyclic carbene catalyst that the researchers developed spe- cifically for this reaction. Excellent yields of propio- lic acid were obtained from carbon dioxide under ambient reaction conditions without the use of any organometallic reagents. IBN’s elegant and economi- cally viable protocol has great potential for real-world applications, as it is also flexible enough to be used with a wide variety of substrates. Moving forward, the IBN researchers hope to further develop this