12:42 GMT +322 July 2019
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    Molecule-making machine

    Scientists Create 3D Printer for Small Molecules

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    American researchers have developed a 3D printer for small molecules that they say could contribute significantly to the development of customized chemistry.

    American scientists have announced the creation of a 3D printer for synthesizing small molecules that they claim is of paramount importance to the development of customized chemistry, media reports said.

    The revolutionary molecule-making device has been created by chemists at the University of Illinois, led by chemistry professor Martin D. Burke.

    The device can be likened to a 3D printer that is capable of working at the molecular level to assemble complex small molecules at the click of a mouse.

    This process could add greatly to speeding up a new drug development and other technologies that rely on small molecules. In particular, small molecules are key elements in technologies like solar cells and LEDs.

    "We wanted to take a very complex process, chemical synthesis, and make it simple. Simplicity enables automation, which, in turn, can broadly enable discovery and bring the substantial power of making molecules to non-specialists," Burke said.

    A specific class of complex and compact chemical structures, small molecules are of great significance to medicine because scientists say most medications available now are nothing but small molecules.

    Meanwhile, Miles Fabian of the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of General Medical Sciences, has highly appreciated Burke's research that Fabian said "has yielded a significant advance that helps make complex small molecule synthesis more efficient, flexible and accessible."

    "It is exciting to think about the impact that continued advances in these directions will have on synthetic chemistry and life science research," Fabian said.


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