Home >> Industry News >> New break-up sharp tool can efficiently separate chiral molecules
In the chemical world, there are a large group of molecules with chiral isomers. They are like left and right hands. Although they look the same, they can not overlap at all. These molecules are called "chiral molecules".


Chiral molecules in some medicines have significant differences in biological activity, metabolic process and toxicity, and some of them are even different from each other in terms of "treatment" and "pathogenicity". Therefore, how to separate the "right and left hands" of chiral molecules more economically, efficiently and conveniently to obtain the beneficial parts has become a hot topic in the chemical field.


In collaboration with Professor Zhang Zhenjie of the School of Chemistry of Nankai University and Professor Ma Shengqian of the University of South Florida, a chiral covalent organic framework material was designed and synthesized by using the strategy of biomolecule induction, and successfully applied to the chiral separation of small molecules such as drugs and amino acids. 。 The material has the characteristics of low cost, high efficiency and strong universality. It has completely independent intellectual property rights. As a new "break-up" weapon, it will greatly reduce the production cost of chiral drugs. Relevant research results were published online recently in German Applied Chemistry.


High performance liquid chromatography (LC) is one of the most important methods to obtain enantiomers with single chiral configuration. Chiral stationary phase with high chiral separation performance is the key to this technology. When the mixture containing chiral molecule flows through the separation column, different isomers flow out at different times due to different forces, thus achieving the goal of chiral separation.


"Simply put, the separation column in a liquid chromatograph is like a tunnel. Vehicles with identical appearance and model are allowed to pass quickly and smoothly by the traffic police, and those without licenses will fall behind because of traffic police investigation. In this way, licensed cars first appear at the exit of the tunnel, and then unlicensed cars appear at the exit of the tunnel. Chen Yao said that the most critical part of this is the "traffic police", that is, "chiral stationary phase", which requires strong recognition ability, stability and efficiency.


In order to create a new chiral stationary phase with high efficiency, Chen Yao's team introduced a series of biological molecules (lysozyme, tripeptide, amino acid) into covalent organic framework materials (COFs). Non-chiral COFs can be used for chiral molecular separation by inheriting chiral characteristics of biological molecules.


Chen Yao said that the results showed that the performance of the chiral stationary phase of Biomolecule COF-1 obtained by the new strategy was significantly better than that of the chiral stationary phase obtained by the traditional adsorption method. "In tunnels, we synthesized a highly efficient and dedicated'traffic policeman', a new chiral stationary phase for high performance liquid chromatography.


Further research shows that COF1 material as chiral stationary phase has excellent chiral separation effect and can be used in many separation modes, such as normal phase and reverse phase. The separation degree Rs is above 1.3. After continuous use for 2 months and repeated injection for more than 120 times, the material still has the same separation effect as the initial state.


"This study provides great potential for the development of efficient and durable chiral stationary phases and the widening application of covalent organic frameworks in chiral separation and chiral catalysis." Chen Yao introduced that the new material has completely independent intellectual property rights. Its application can greatly reduce the cost of separation column, break the dependence on imports, and also greatly reduce the production cost of chiral drugs.

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