Leroy Cronin and his team out of the University of Glasgow have used a 3D printer they modified to use bathroom sealant to develop a wide variety of custom reaction vessels. The video above shows the printing of such a vessel and how it allows for much more detailed reaction monitoring.
One vessel was printed with catalyst-laced ‘ink’, enabling the container walls to drive chemical reactions. Another container included built-in electrodes, made from skinny strips of polymer printed with a conductive carbon-based additive. The strips carried currents that stimulated an electrochemical reaction within the vessel.
Using these new vessels they were able to synthesize three new compounds. But even more exciting than the prospect of new compounds is the possibility that using a smart vessel one could find alternative and possibly cheaper routes to the synthesis of known compounds, especially drugs targeting rare diseases where small market keeps the prices abnormally hire.
via Cronin Group