Navigation Links
New uses for imidazolium salts in medicine and alternative energy
Date:12/2/2008

Scientists at Singapore's Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) have uncovered new properties of imidazolium salts (IMSs), which suggest that they could play a vital role in disease prevention and treatment.

The report on the redox properties of IMSs was published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

In a separate study published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition, IBN researchers reported the first use of these salts to convert carbohydrates into versatile chemical compounds for biofuel production.

IBN researchers successfully used IMS to develop a new catalyst system for converting sugars into 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), a key compound used in biofuel chemistry and the petroleum industry.

In the Journal of the American Chemical Society, the IBN researchers described how they used IMSs to synthesize successfully uniform gold nanoparticles within seconds at room temperature. The ultrafine (1-2 nm) nanoparticles remained stable for up to 6 months at 4C.

Unlike conventional synthesis techniques using borane or borohydride reduction processes, IBN's method does not require a strong reducing reagent yet is able to produce gold nanoparticles under very mild reaction condition with remarkable efficiency.

IBN's new synthesis protocol could easily be scaled up for industrial applications.

Commonly used as solvents for various organic reactions, IMSs are room-temperature ionic liquids that are chemically stable and have low vapor pressure. While IMSs' physical properties have been widely studied, their biochemical properties and medical applications have seldom been mentioned in the scientific literature.

IBN Principal Research Scientist Yugen Zhang, Ph.D., said, "Our successful use of IMSs as a reducing agent led us to believe that we might also be able to use this compound as a radical scavenger antioxidant to counter the damage caused by reactive oxygen species in the body."

Environmental stress triggered by an unhealthy lifestyle, such as excessive alcohol consumption, exposure to toxins and drugs, smoking and lack of sleep, may lead the body to produce superoxide radicals known as reactive oxygen species (ROS) that could cause cell damage through oxidation.

Oxidative stress from ROS is implicated in most diseases including cancer, heart disease, liver fibrosis, neurodegenerative diseases, autoimmune disorders and aging. Radical scavenger antioxidants help to trap free radicals in the body's cellular system, thus attenuating the effects of ROS.

IMS is a precursor for N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHC). A naturally occurring form of NHC is thiamine or vitamin B, which plays a very important biological role. Vitamin B deficiency has been linked to oxidative stress. While natural antioxidants such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a green tea extract, have been known to slow down or prevent the oxidative process, they also exhibit low potencies and a rapid turnover in the body's metabolism.

IBN Principal Research Scientist Lang Zhuo, Ph.D., said, "Our investigations with hepatic stellate cells show that IMSs have more powerful antioxidant properties than EGCG, yet are remarkably less cytotoxic. They significantly decreased ROS levels in liver cells by 11% more than EGCG. In addition, IMSs are simple and inexpensive to produce. Therefore, they show great promise as a new type of antioxidant with potential biomedical applications."

In a separate study published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition, IBN researchers successfully used IMS to develop a new catalyst system for converting sugars into 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), a key compound used in biofuel chemistry and the petroleum industry.

Diminishing fossil fuel reserves and global warming effects have made the search for sustainable, renewable alternative energy sources a critical global concern. Biofuels are currently the only sustainable source of liquid fuels available, but the lack of highly efficient methods to convert carbohydrates into chemical compounds for biofuel production has impeded the replacement of petroleum feedstock by biomass.

HMF and its 2,5-disubstituted furan derivatives can replace key petroleum-based building blocks, and there are several known catalysts that are active in the dehydration of sugars to form HMF.

However, most of them also produce side reactions that form undesired byproducts, and rehydrate HMF to form acid. Therefore, the use of these catalysts has often been constrained to simple sugar feedstock such as fructose. They have not been able to efficiently convert glucose, a more abundant and stable sugar source.

With IMSs as the starting point, IBN researchers developed NHC-metal complexes as catalysts to transform sugars into HMF. These offer a great deal of flexibility as the catalytic activity may be modified by changing specific properties of the NHC. The researchers were able to extract HMF easily as the sole product. IBN's new catalyst achieved the highest reported yields of HMF so far, for both fructose and glucose feedstocks.

Dr. Zhang said, "Our HMF yields were as high as 96% for fructose and 81% for glucose. As both the catalyst and the ionic liquid can be recycled, our technology is more environmentally friendly and would potentially lead to cost savings in the biofuel manufacturing process."

IBN Executive Director Professor Jackie Y. Ying added, "We are excited by the tremendous potential of these novel compounds to make an impact on medicine and alternative energy. Our discovery paves the way for more effective treatment of various degenerative diseases, as well as the conversion of biofuels, helping to alleviate some of the pressing concerns facing our global community."


'/>"/>

Contact: Cathy Yarbrough
sciencematter@yahoo.com
858-243-1814
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. Diffusion Pharmaceuticals Announces Issuance of U.S. Patent No. 7351844, Titled Bipolar Trans Carotenoid Salts and Their Uses, for Its Family of First-In-Class Molecules
2. China Medicine Corporation Awarded GSP Certification
3. GeneNews to exhibit ColonSentry(TM) at Family Medicine Forum 2008
4. Sigma-Aldrich Enters Into Research Collaboration Program With D-Finitive Cell Technologies, Inc., to Develop Research Tools for Regenerative Medicine
5. MDV Expands Team Pursuing Advances in Personalized Medicine
6. Singapore Medicine - Singapore Doctors Use Hi-Tech Implant to Add Space to Narrowed Spinal Canals
7. Dr. Gail Naughton Speaks on Histogen's Business Plan and the Rise of Bioaesthetic Medicine during Commercial Translation of Regenerative Medicine
8. Chemical Engineering Conference Highlights Energy, Biomedicine, Pharmaceuticals, Sustainability and Centennial
9. AstraZeneca Nobel Medicine Initiative to Increase Interest in the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
10. China Medicine Announces Conference Call to Discuss Third Quarter 2008 Results
11. RainDance Technologies Delivers RDT 1000, Sequence Enrichment Solution to The Genome Center at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... Curoverse announced today that the ... provides capabilities for managing and processing genomic and health data at petabyte scale. ... collecting and analyzing genomic data,” said Adam Berrey chief executive officer at Curoverse. ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... Vancouver, BC (PRWEB) , ... February 09, 2016 ... ... and design services and current winner of the Highest Overall Customer Rating ... certification in all of its business units across the USA, Canada, Mexico and ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... ... Date and time: March 1, 2016, 5:30 p.m. to ... of Bucks County, 3805 Old Easton Road, Doylestown, PA 18902. , The Baruch ... house for participants to learn about a new Master of Biomedical Science (MBS) ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... , ... Tunnell Consulting, Inc. announced that Frédéric Lefebvre has joined the firm ... new accounts and work closely with existing Tunnell clients throughout Europe to ensure their ... clients more than 15 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, a thorough knowledge ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:1/28/2016)... 2016 Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA ), a leading developer ... quarter ended December 31, 2015. --> ... 2016 increased 2 percent compared to the comparable quarter last year ... 2016 was $35.0 million, or $0.93 per diluted share. ... the first quarter of fiscal 2016 grew 9 percent over the ...
(Date:1/22/2016)... , Jan. 22, 2016 ... addition of the "Global Biometrics Market ... their offering. --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/p74whf/global_biometrics ... "Global Biometrics Market in Retail Sector ... --> Research and Markets ( ...
(Date:1/18/2016)... , Jan. 18, 2016  Extenua Inc., ... that simplifies the use and access of ubiquitous ... go-to-market partnership with American Cyber.  ... extensive experience leading transformational C4ISR and Cyber initiatives ... integrating the latest proven technology solutions," said ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):