Harnessing continuous flow for the synthesis of complex functional molecules. The project will deliver a new approach to the synthesis of medinally im

Lead Research Organisation: Loughborough University
Department Name: Chemistry


The existing 'benchmarked' methodology for the synthesis of complex functional molecules is typically step-wise in nature and involving isolation of intermediates. This can compromise efficiency and overall chemical yields; while increasing expense and generating significant chemical waste. In contrast, Continous Flow Technology can potentially be adapted to undertake multiple chemical reactions, without isolation of any intermediates. Off-the-shelf, affordable, continuous flow technology has the potential to revolutionise chemical synthesis. The traditional, step-wise approaches to complex chemical synthesis can now potentially be undertaken sequentially using this technology, therefore reducing cost, waste and importantly time.

This project will exploit this approach by examining the sequential formation of medicinally important compounds such as heterocycles, conformationally restricted cyclobutanes, as well as exploring the formation of challenging chemical bonds (such as C-CF3) using this continuous flow approach.

Initial work will investigate the formation of conformationally restricted cyclobutanes using a novel photoredox organcatalytic dimerisation of enamines and allenamines. This will be process will then be transferred into continuous-flow. With effective conditions found, this approach this will be expanded to the synthesis of challenging heterocyclic scaffolds (e.g. azetidines) and the formation of challenging chemical bonds.

Much of this chemistry will be undertaken using our recently acquired continuous flow apparatus, and will equip the successful applicant with the requisite skill-set required in the 21st century pharmaceutical industry. Additionally, given the nature of the target molecules, the project will expose the applicant to existing concurrent projects such as our recent EPSRC AMR initiative. This project fits within the EPSRC Dial-a-Molecule grand challenge.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509516/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
2132426 Studentship EP/N509516/1 01/10/2018 31/03/2022 Helena Grantham
EP/R513088/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2023
2132426 Studentship EP/R513088/1 01/10/2018 31/03/2022 Helena Grantham