FEB 25, 2019 2:25 PM PST

Photoelectrochemical Cells To Produce New Drug Discovery Molecules

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells utilize photocathodes and photoanodes to "split" water into hydrogen and oxygen. PEC cells have been primarily studied for the conversion of solar energy into chemical fuels. They work under mild conditions with light making them ideal for other catalyzing reactions that can convert organic molecules into high efficacy molecules need to develop new therapeutics.

Learn more about PEC cells:

Unfortunately, PEC cells have rarely been studied for organic synthesis with exceptions of some handful attempts of manufacturing simple substrates. The need to study PEC cells for broad-scope synthetic methodologies is crucial for creating functional organic molecules.

However, a process known as "direct amination” involving the addition of adding an amine group to an organic molecule without pre-activating the molecule, may prove most helpful in PEC cells for pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals. Direct amination is now being examined in a study for the development of a new method involving animating arenes. "Our method is operationally simple and can be used to synthesize a broad range of nitrogen-containing heterocycles relevant to drug discovery," writes Lei Zhang, the lead author of the study. "Pioneering studies have yielded robust hematite samples that are efficient for water splitting, but hematite has never been used to catalyze organic synthesis," says Hu.

"This is an important demonstration of principle for using PEC cells for the production of high added-value chemicals and pharmaceuticals," says Hu. "The work merges two traditionally separated fields, namely photoelectrochemistry and organic synthesis. There are plenty of untapped opportunities for this approach, and we are excited to further explore these opportunities."

Source: Science Daily

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
You May Also Like
SEP 11, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Novel Therapeutic for ALS
SEP 11, 2020
Novel Therapeutic for ALS
The TDP-43 protein is a well-known hallmark of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). A ...
OCT 22, 2020
Neuroscience
Placebos Impact Brain Patterns for Emotional Processing
OCT 22, 2020
Placebos Impact Brain Patterns for Emotional Processing
Researchers from Michigan State University have found that placebos reduce markers of emotional distress- even when the ...
OCT 22, 2020
Neuroscience
Psychedelic Experiences Reduce Narcissistic Personality Traits
OCT 22, 2020
Psychedelic Experiences Reduce Narcissistic Personality Traits
Researchers from the UK have found that psychedelic drugs can positively affect narcissistic personality traits- by redu ...
OCT 11, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Treating Connective Tissue Disorders
OCT 11, 2020
Treating Connective Tissue Disorders
Collaborative research efforts are geared to improving disease that affects connective tissues via innovative drug deliv ...
NOV 05, 2020
Immunology
Awakening Ancient DNA to Kill Cancer
NOV 05, 2020
Awakening Ancient DNA to Kill Cancer
In a recent study published in Nature, scientists from the University of Toronto described the discovery of ancient DNA ...
NOV 17, 2020
Immunology
6 Injections a Year Prevent HIV Infections
NOV 17, 2020
6 Injections a Year Prevent HIV Infections
Last year, around 1.7 million people became infected with HIV, with around half of these being women. Encouraging result ...
Loading Comments...