Many Potential Applications
Of many areas where the patented technology can be used, potential applications include the production of new pharmaceutical candidates and new polymeric materials, such as glues and coatings, for use in high-tech electronics applications. Triazoles are exceptionally stable at high temperatures, which makes them ideal for use in electronics, where computers and other devices must heat up and cool down countless times for years on end without the glues in their chips (or electronic components) breaking down. Certain triazoles are also exceedingly sticky, bonding strongly to metals and other materials including glass and certain plastics, another critical factor for electronics. "Together with our colleague M.G. Finn, we've already shown that we can make adhesives that are better at welding metal components together than anything else on the market," says Fokin.
Another advantage in developing adhesives is that the remarkable reactivity involved ensures that any two azides and alkynes can be bound together. That means designers can simply choose molecules from those groups that have needed properties, such as repelling water or absorbing certain chemicals, and bind them to form a single, web-like molecule, or polymer.
In drug discovery work, the copper-catalyzed reactions display another side of their benefits. To identify potential pharmaceuticals, researchers often test libraries of thousands or even millions of molecules to identify those that might kill a particular virus or type of cancer cell. Because the azides and alkynes are so reactive when copper is around, large groups of both types of molecules can be combined, allowing bonding to form molecule libraries that can then be run through these disease tests. Using copper-catalyzed azide-alkyne
|Contact: Keith McKeown|
Scripps Research Institute