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Ruđer Bošković Institute in cooperation with Teva in Croatia discovered a new solution system that may invert self-assembled small molecules chirality

Ruđer Bošković Institute in cooperation with Teva in Croatia discovered a new solution system that may invert self-assembled small molecules chirality

Scientists from Ruđer Bošković Institute (IRB), have in cooperation with PLIVA published a paper with the first example of the inversion of the supramolecular chirality of assembled small molecules in solution by complexation to metal ions, in a highly renowned Chemical Communications (IF = 6.6) journal. This system might serve as a model for the design of new chiral catalysts to be applied in the pharmaceutical industry.

A team of scientists, including Professor Ernest Meštrović, PhD, from PLIVA has discovered a unique and robust system consisting of units such as chiral amino acids and metal salts. The combination of experimental and computer methods has shown that some amino acid derivatives join in non-covalent aggregates, thus creating chiral structures in the solution and in the solid state. The addition of metal salt redistributes the molecules in the solution by creating inverted chirality structures, which has so far not been reported in literature.

“The systems which contain small units of the same chirality and which can display inverted optical properties by the addition of achiral compounds are extremely rare. This system is significant for the application in business as it creates an opportunity of using one chiral catalyst for the preparation of both enantiomers of the desired product “, said Srećko Kirin, PhD, head of Solid Chemistry and Complex Compounds Lab at Ruđer Bošković Institute.

Authors Zoran Kokan, Berislav Perić, Mario Vazdar, Željko Marinić, Dražen Vikić-Topić and Srećko Kirin (IRB) and Ernest Meštrović (PLIVA) presented the results of their work in the paper “Metal-Induced Supramolecular Chirality Inversion of Small Self-Assembled Molecules in Solution“ published in the renowned scientific journal Chemical Communications (IF = 6.6, Q1), according to the Web of Science ranked third among 520 highest quality journals in the field of chemistry for the total number of citations.

Professor Ernest Meštrović, who greatly contributed to the success of this research, said: “The results of the research are very important for the development and advancement of the industry, as well as for increasing the competitiveness of the Croatian science, which can now keep pace with science on the global level. This project is another example of successfully connecting science and business based on innovations.”

For more information about the research visit Ruđer Bošković Institutes's offical website

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