Click chemistry helps to synthesize different molecules quickly and reliably by combining small units. In particular, it promotes the development of new combinatorial chemistry methods based on the synthesis of carbon-heteroatomic bonds and the simple and efficient acquisition of molecular diversity through these reactions. In this way, it frees scientists from complex molecular synthesis and enables them to focus on the bottom-up linkage of functional modules. However, different application scenarios in different fields also set new requirements for click chemistry.
Recently, a research group led by Prof. Yuan Lu from Tsinghua University, China, examines common and newly developed click reactions as well as their applications in modern science. The view describes the progression logic of these click reactions. The challenges and potential directions of development in this field are also discussed. The results were published in Chinese Journal of Catalysis.
The criteria of click chemistry led us to find many available reaction types, including but not limited to nucleophilic opening, “Protecting Group” reaction, cycloaddition, Michael addition, and Staudinger ligation. These reactions are not perfect in the beginning and still need to be improved.
Since the fields of application have been expanded, the click reactions must be further developed in two main directions, meaning that they must be more relaxed in terms and more intelligent. In this case, strain-activated substrates have been proven to accelerate reactions in the physiological environment. Light-triggered and dissociative click reactions have provided new breakthroughs to make this field smarter and more controllable.
The most amazing ability of click chemistry is to create diverse molecular libraries. It promotes its use in fields with complex research objects, mainly polymer and biological sciences. Click chemistry can facilitate precise structure control and flexible function modification in polymer synthesis.
It also brings new developments in bioconjugation, further applied in biomarker/imaging, drug delivery, and drug target screening fields. In particular, although catalysis plays a large role in polymer synthesis, ideal reactions in physiological systems prefer non-catalysis, which can provide different development logic.
Different fields of application suggest new challenges in click chemistry. In general, click reactions should be more biocompatible and readily occur under physiological conditions. It also needs to be more scalable to facilitate the construction of a molecular library. Smart click chemistry is also encouraged to bring intelligent control to this process.
To meet these challenges, the detailed mechanism of click reactions needs to be elucidated, especially in complex application situations. Computer science can provide solutions for the creation of a large molecular library and high-throughput screening based on click reactions. In addition, physical factors, such as light and magnetism, can be introduced as controllable elements, which can promote smart click chemistry.
Chen Wang et al, Click chemistry as a connectivity tool: Great opportunities and challenges, Chinese Journal of Catalysis (2023). DOI: 10.1016/S1872-2067(23)64434-1
Awarded by the Chinese Academy of Sciences
Citation: Click chemistry as a connectivity tool: Great opportunities and challenges (2023, July 13) retrieved 13 July 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-07-click-chemistry-tool- grand-opportunities.html
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