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Need a new molecule? Print it!

Imagine you are a medical researcher interested in a chemical produced very rare in the roots of a Peruvian flower  little known but with high curative power. Being able to get that rare plant may be difficult, both because no supplier has those substances, and because these were never marketed. But perhaps, thanks to the work of the chemist of ‘University of Illinois, Martin Burke, will be able to print directly in a chemical laboratory.

In a new study published in the journal Science, Burke announced the specifications of its own version of the 3D printer, a machine that can systematically synthesize thousands of different molecules, starting from a few basic chemicals. This machine could then recreate the chemicals in that rare flower modulating the process step-by-step, but it could also create new chemicals ever synthesized by man before or accelerate processes of molecules that would otherwise require much time for their completion.

Also this printing system 3d molecular could allow scientists to test the medicinal properties of a whole family molecular.


There are many molecules in nature with some extraordinary natural properties, that are incredibly difficult to play or simply are not available to be purchased against a provision in the laboratory,” says Burke.

The prototype of Burke is currently limited in the number of chemicals that can produce, but believes that it can already be used in development projects of new drugs.

This opens up the potential to create, model chemical processes and different substances through the use of 3D printer, not only for the experts but also for every type of consumer.

What do you think of this new innovation of chemistry? It can be an opportunity or a threat?

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