Archive for April, 2015

Sweating the small stuff – paper-based cystic fibrosis screening

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is one of the most common inherited diseases, with 1 in 3000 Caucasians a carrier of the single gene mutation. One feature of CF is abnormally elevated sweat anions, and this feature is exploited in the gold standard diagnostic tests.
 
However, gold standard in this case does not stand for inexpensive nor ease of use. This leads to limited availability and the requirement for large volumes of sweat; not the easiest of things to get from newborn babies who need to be screened for CF.
 
In a recent ChemComm article, Xuan Mu, Zhi Zheng and team from the Institute of Basic Medical Sciences at Peking Union Medical College have reported the development of a paper-based analytical device that can detect sweat on the skin using much smaller volumes than current tests.
 
The team use a colorimetric detection approach with stacked functional papers (paper discs produced with a hole punch). The key element is the anion exchange layer which converts sweat anions into hydroxide ions, leading to a local alkalization and subsequent change in the colour of another pH paper layer. 
 

The stacked paper based diagnostic device developed by the authors


The authors have applied their diagnostic device to real patients and can clearly discriminate between CF and non-CF patients with a clinical reference point. With the cost of these tests being less than a dollar and being wearable, the authors have opened up a new opportunity for the screening of CF.
 
To read the details, check out the ChemComm article in full:
 
A paper-based skin patch for the diagnostic screening of cystic fibrosis
Xuan Mu, Xiaolei Xin, Chengyan Fan, Xue Li, Xinlun Tian, Kai-Feng Xu and Zhi Zheng
Chem. Commun., 2015, 51, 6365-6368
DOI: 10.1039/C5CC000717H

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Ionic liquids come up smelling of roses

A new perfume delivery system has been developed by chemists in the UK as a way of keeping sweet smells around for longer. This cleverly designed system tags fragrance alcohols – such as 2-phenylethanol, which has a rose-like scent – onto odourless ionic liquids. In the tagged form, the material has no smell. However, when it comes into contact with water, the link is broken and the fragrance is released – along with its sweet scent.

Fragrance alcohols are typically volatile, so their scent can be lost soon after a perfumed product is applied. A lot of research has been dedicated to finding ways to keep scents around for longer.


Read the full article in Chemistry World»

Read the original journal article in ChemComm:
Pro-fragrant ionic liquids with stable hemiacetal motifs: water-triggered release of fragrances
H. Q. Nimal Gunaratne, Peter Nockemann and Kenneth R. Seddon 
Chem. Commun., 2015,51, 4455-4457
DOI: 10.1039/C5CC00099H, Communication

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Hydrogel with a basic instinct for drug delivery

A self-assembling hydrogel with nanofibres that specifically capture and release anti-inflammatory compounds has been created for applications in targeted drug delivery. The drug naproxen is only unleashed from the gel in basic solvents, a trait that could be exploited to avoid naproxen’s undesirable side effects.

Painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, such as naproxen and ibuprofen, are ubiquitous in the management of many diseases and injuries. However, even these well-established medications can cause stomach ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders. Side effects most commonly arise when the drugs are taken for an extended period of time, as in the long-term treatment of arthritis with naproxen. One way of preventing these painful consequences is to encapsulate drugs to restrict their availability in certain parts of the body and target their release to others.


Read the full article in Chemistry World»

Read the original journal article in ChemComm – it’s free to access until 27th May:
Self-assembled sorbitol-derived supramolecular hydrogels for the controlled encapsulation and release of active pharmaceutical ingredients
Edward J. Howe, Babatunde O. Okesola and David K. Smith 
Chem. Commun., 2015,51, 7451-7454
DOI: 10.1039/C5CC01868D, Communication

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Hot ChemComm articles for April

Here are some of the latest referee-recommended articles published in ChemComm – all free to access until 15th May!

Lewis acid-assisted detection of nerve agents in water
Rahul R. Butala, William R. Creasy, Roderick A. Fry, Michael L. McKee and David A. Atwood 
Chem. Commun., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5CC00466G, Communication

C5CC00466G GA


From slow to fast – the user controls the rate of the release of molecules from masked forms using a photoswitch and different types of light
C. Chad Warford, Carl-Johan Carling and Neil R. Branda   
Chem. Commun., 2015,51, 7039-7042
DOI: 10.1039/C5CC00218D, Communication

C5CC00218D GA


The long-sought seventeen-electron radical [(C6Me6)Cr(CO)3]+: isolation, crystal structure and substitution reaction
Wenqing Wang, Xingyong Wang, Zaichao Zhang, Ningning Yuan and Xinping Wang 
Chem. Commun., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5CC01941A, Communication

 C5CC01941A GA


A bioelectronic system for insulin release triggered by ketone body mimicking diabetic ketoacidosis in vitro
Maria Gamella, Nataliia Guz, José M. Pingarrón, Roshanak Aslebagh, Costel C. Darie and Evgeny Katz 
Chem. Commun., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5CC01498K, Communication

 C5CC01498K GA


A membraneless air-breathing hydrogen biofuel cell based on direct wiring of thermostable enzymes on carbon nanotube electrodes
Noémie Lalaoui, Anne de Poulpiquet, Raoudha Haddad, Alan Le Goff, Michael Holzinger, Sébastien Gounel, Michel Mermoux, Pascale Infossi, Nicolas Mano, Elisabeth Lojou and Serge Cosnier 
Chem. Commun., 2015,51, 7447-7450
DOI: 10.1039/C5CC02166A, Communication

 C5CC02166A GA


Body temperature sensitive micelles for MRI enhancement
Xiaolei Zhu, Shizhen Chen, Qing Luo, Chaohui Ye, Maili Liu and Xin Zhou 
Chem. Commun., 2015, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5CC02587G, Communication

C5CC02587G GA

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ChemComm Emerging Investigator Lectureship: Tomislav Friščić

Tomislav Friščić (McGill University), one of the winners of the 2014 ChemComm Emerging Investigator Lectureship, delivered the first of his three lectures, entitled “Mechanochemistry: from environmentally-friendly synthesis to the discovery of new materials and reactivity,” at the University of Ottawa on 25 February 2015.

Tomislav will next be speaking at University College London on Friday, 17 April 2015, and will deliver his final Lectureship talk at the 22nd International Conference on the Chemistry of the Organic Solid State (ICCOSS XXII) in Niigata, Japan on 12-17 July 2015, where he will be formally awarded with his Lectureship certificate.

Xinliang Feng (Technische Universität Dresden, Germany) was the third recipient of the 2014 Lectureship, and he will be delivering his lecture at ECME 2015 – the 13th European Conference on Molecular Electronics – to be held in Strasbourg from 1-5 September 2015. More details on this and Xinliang’s other forthcoming lectures will be posted soon.

Our annual lectureship recognises emerging scientists in the early stages of their independent academic career.  We will soon be announcing our winners for 2015.

ChemComm Emerging Investigator Lectureship 2014 recipient Tomislav Friscic delivering his lecture at the University of Ottawa

Tomislav Friscic with his host at the University of Ottawa, David Bryce

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ChemComm Emerging Investigator Lectureship: Simon M. Humphrey

Dr Simon Humphrey (University of Texas at Austin), one of the winners of the 2014 ChemComm Emerging Investigator Lectureship, is currently on his Lectureship tour in three locations in California:

Simon delivered the first of his three lectures, entitled “Noble metal nanoparticles and phosphine coordination materials for heterogeneous catalysis, sequestration and sensing,” last Friday at the University of California in San Diego, where he was awarded with his Lectureship certificate by ChemComm Advisory Board member Professor Seth Cohen. Congratulations, Simon!

ChemComm Emerging Investigator Lectureship 2014 recipient Simon Humphrey receives his certificate from Professor Seth Cohen after delivering his lecture at the University of California in San Diego

Simon Humphrey with ChemComm Advisory Board members Josh Figueroa (left) and Seth Cohen (right)

Our annual lectureship recognises an emerging scientist in the early stages of their independent academic career.

We will be announcing our 2015 winners soon – watch this space!

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Rotaxane Pulley – To Me, To You

Mechanically interlocked molecules have received ever increasing focus over the last number of years due to their potential to mimic the function of macroscopic devices in the molecular world.

Examples include molecular elevators and molecular muscles and with this Communication Zheng Meng and Chuan-Feng Chen of the CAS Key Laboratory of Molecular Recognition and Function at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing have added pulley-like shuttling motion to the toolkit.

Molecular pulley system powered by acid and base

Molecular pulley system powered by acid and base

Using their previously reported* triptycene-derived crown ether host and combining it with a linear guest with three dibenzylammonium and three N-methyltriazolium sites, they have made a molecular pulley system that mimics the plain rotary motion and linear translocation of full sized pulleys. The movement is powered by acid or base leading to one end of the cable-like guest moving towards the host while the other moves away (picture).

The researchers have not only added to the toolbox of molecular motion components but also provided new insights towards further developing molecular machines.

If you want to make your own molecular pulley read the article today! 

To read the details, check out the ChemComm article in full – it’s free to access until 10th May:
A molecular pulley based on a triply interlocked [2]rotaxane
Zheng Meng and Chuan-Feng Chen
Chem. Commun., 2015, 51, Advance Article
DOI: 10.1039/C5CC01301A


*(a) C. F. Chen, Chem. Commun., 2011, 47, 1674–1688 RSC; (b) Y. Han, Z. Meng, Y. X. Ma and C. F. Chen, Acc. Chem. Res., 2014, 47, 2026–2040

**Access is free through a registered RSC account – click here to register

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The Goldilocks of heterogeneous catalysis

An international team of scientists has tethered palladium to a metal–organic framework (MOF) support using thiol groups normally associated with catalyst poisoning. In doing so, the metal centre becomes neither too soluble nor too crowded, but is instead just right for lossless catalysis.

The modified MOF catalyses a coupling reaction between a boronic acid and 4-bromo-2-fluorobenzonitrile

Heterogeneous catalysts, where metal catalysts are supported on an insoluble structure, are easier to recover than soluble homogeneous catalysts. Leaching of the metal catalyst from a support into solution is however a central problem in heterogeneous catalysis. Metals lost to the supernatant can be costly, either in catalyst replacement or additional purification and recovery processes. In drug synthesis there are strict limits on residual metals in active pharmaceutical ingredients. Palladium levels must, for example, be less than 10 ppm for oral intake, and an order of magnitude lower for parenteral exposure.


Read the full article in Chemistry World»

Read the original journal article in ChemComm – it’s free to access until 13th May 2015:
Tackling poison and leach: catalysis by dangling thiol–palladium functions within a porous metal–organic solid
Bo Gui, Ka-Kit Yee, Yan-Lung Wong, Shek-Man Yiu, Matthias Zeller, Cheng Wang and Zhengta Xu 
Chem. Commun., 2015,51, 6917-6920
DOI: 10.1039/C5CC00140D, Communication

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A collection of papers in memory of Professor Robert Williams

Professor Robert Williams, Oxford, inorganic, Biological ChemistryProfessor Robert (Bob) Williams died this March at the age of 89. He was a true pioneer in the field of bio-inorganic chemistry – especially concerning the role of calcium as a biological messenger – and contributed substantially to our understanding of the evolution of life. Professor Williams was often considered as one of the first people to start thinking about metallomics as a field, and will be greatly missed amongst his peers.

In memory of Professor Williams’ huge contribution to the field, we have collated a number of his publications across Metallomics, Dalton Transactions and ChemComm below. We hope you enjoy revisiting some of his exceptional work.

Copper proteomes, phylogenetics and evolution, L. Decaria, I. Bertini, R.J.P. Williams, Metallomics, 2011, 56–60

Zinc proteomes, phylogenetics and evolution, L. Decaria, I. Bertini, R.J.P. Williams, Metallomics, 2010, 706–709

A chemical systems approach to evolution, R.J.P. Williams, Dalton Transactions, 2007, 991–1001

Metallo-enzyme catalysis, R.J.P. Williams, Chemical Communications, 2003, 1109–1113

The chemical elements of life, R.J.P. Williams, Journal of the Chemical Society, Dalton Transactions, 1991, 539–546

Temperature study of the solution conformations of aqueous lanthanide(III) complexes containing monodentate ligands, A.L. Du Preez, S. Naidoo, R.J.P. Williams, Journal of the Chemical Society, Dalton Transactions, 1988, 2315–2321

A proton NMR study of some CoII complexes containing the N-hexadecyl-iminodiacetate ligand, C.J. Rix, R.J.P. Williams, Journal of the Chemical Society, Chemical Communications, 1986, 203–205

Solution conformation of aqueous lanthanide(III)-antipyrine complexes, A.L. Du Preez, R.J.P. Williams, Journal of the Chemical Society, Dalton Transactions, 1986, 1425–1429

Precipitation within unilamellar vesicles. Part 1. Studies of silver(I) oxide formation, S. Mann, R.J.P. Williams, Journal of the Chemical Society, Dalton Transactions, 1983, 311–316

Precipitation within unilamellar vesicles. Part 2. Membrane control of ion transport, S. Mann, M.J. Kime, R.G. Ratcliffe, R.J.P. Williams, Journal of the Chemical Society, Dalton Transactions, 1983, 771–774

The characterisation of the nature of silica in biological systems, S. Mann, C.C. Perry, R.J.P. Williams, C.A. Fyfe, G.C. Gobbi, G.J. Kennedy, Journal of the Chemical Society, Chemical Communications, 1983, 168–170

New organo-metallic reagents for electron microscopy, S. Mann, R.J.P. Williams, P.R. Sethuraman, M.T. Pope, Journal of the Chemical Society, Chemical Communications, 1981, 1083–1084

Solid state phosphorus NMR spectroscopy of minerals and soils, R.J.P. Williams, R.G.F. Giles, A.M. Posner, Journal of the Chemical Society, Chemical Communications, 1981, 1051–1052

Electron relaxation rates of lanthanide aquo-cations, B.M. Alsaadi, F.J.C. Rossotti, R.J.P. Williams, Journal of the Chemical Society, Dalton Transactions, 1980, 2147–2150

Hydration of complexone complexes of lanthanide cations, B.M. Alsaadi, F.J.C. Rossotti, R.J.P. Williams, Journal of the Chemical Society, Dalton Transactions, 1980, 2151–2154

Preparation of Ag2O crystallites within phospholipid vesicles and their use in nucleation studies, J.L. Hutchison, S. Mann, A.J. Skarnulis, R.J.P. Williams, Journal of the Chemical Society, Chemical Communications, 1980, 634–635

Studies of lanthanide (III) dipicolinate complexes in aqueous solution. Part 2. Hydration, B.M. Alsaadi, F.J.C. Rossotti, R.J.P. Williams, Journal of the Chemical Society, Dalton Transactions, 1980, 813–816

Studies of lanthanide(III) pyridine-2,6-dicarboxylate complexes in aqueous solution. Part 1. Structures and 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectra, B.M. Alsaadi, F.J.C. Rossotti, R.J.P. Williams, Journal of the Chemical Society, Dalton Transactions, 1980, 597–602

Location of biological compartments by high resolution NMR spectroscopy and electron microscopy using magnetite-containing vesicles, S. Mann, A.J. Skarnulis, R.J.P. Williams, Journal of the Chemical Society, Chemical Communications, 1979, 1067–1068

Mapping organic molecules in biological space by high resolution NMR spectroscopy and electron microscopy, A.J. Skarnulis, P.J. Strong, R.J.P. Williams, Journal of the Chemical Society, Chemical Communications, 1978, 1030–1032

An investigation of some potential uses of the gadolinium(III) ion as a structural probe, E.C.N.F. Geraldes, R.J.P. Williams, Journal of the Chemical Society, Dalton Transactions, 1977, 1721–1726

Structure of lanthanide(III) mono- and bis-dipicolinates in solution, B.M. Alsaadi, F.J.C. Rossotti, R.J.P. Williams, Journal of the Chemical Society, Chemical Communications, 1977, 527–529

Assignment of the NMR spectrum of iron(III) protoporphyrin IX dicyanide using paramagnetic shift and broadening probes, J.G. Brassington, R.J.P. Williams, P.E. Wright, Journal of the Chemical Society, Chemical Communications, 1975, 338–340

Conformational studies of peroxidase-substrate complexes. Structure of the indolepropionic acid-horseradish peroxidase complex, P.S. Burns, R.J.P. Williams, P.E. Wright, Journal of the Chemical Society, Chemical Communications, 1975, 795–796

The temperature dependence of some physical properties of cobinamides and cobalamins, S.A. Cockle, O.D. Hensens, H.A.O. Hill, R.J.P. Williams, Journal of the Chemical Society, Dalton Transactions, 1975, 2633–2634

Conformational studies of lanthanide complexes with carboxylate ligands, B.A. Levine, J.M. Thornton, R.J.P. Williams, Journal of the Chemical Society, Chemical Communications, 1974, 669–670

Ethylenediaminetetra-acetato-lanthanate(III), -praesodimate(III), -europate(III), and -gadolinate(III) complexes as nuclear magnetic resonance probes of the molecular conformations of adenosine 5′- monophosphate and cytidine 5′-monophosphate in solution, C.M. Dobson, R.J.P. Williams, A.V. Xavier, Journal of the Chemical Society, Dalton Transactions, 1974, 1762–1764

Intramolecular nuclear Overhauser effects in proton magnetic resonance spectra of proteins, I.D. Campbell, C.M. Dobson, R.J.P. Williams, Journal of the Chemical Society, Chemical Communications, 1974, 888–889

Lanthanoid(III) cations as nuclear magnetic resonance conformational probes: Studies on cytidine 5′-monophosphate at pH 2, C.D. Barry, C.M. Dobson, R.J.P. Williams, A.V. Xavier, Journal of the Chemical Society, Dalton Transactions, 1974, 1765-1769

Nuclear magnetic resonance spectra of dimeric cupric compounds, W. Byers, R.J.P. Williams, Journal of the Chemical Society, Dalton Transactions, 1973, 555–560

Separation of contact and pseudo-contact contributions to shifts induced by lanthanide(III) ions in nuclear magnetic resonance spectra, C.M. Dobson, R.J.P. Williams, A.V. Xavier, Journal of the Chemical Society, Dalton Transactions, 1973, 2662–2664

The effect of 1,3,5-trinitrobenzene on 1H nuclear magnetic resonance and electron paramagnetic resonance spectra of some cobalt(II) porphyrins, H.A.O. Hill, P.J. Sadler, R.J.P. Williams, Journal of the Chemical Society, Dalton Transactions, 1973, 1663–1667

Origin of lanthanide nuclear magnetic resonance shifts and their uses, B. Bleaney, C.M. Dobson, B.A. Levine, R.B. Martin, R.J.P. Williams, A.V. Xavier, Journal of the Chemical Society, Chemical Communications, 1972, 791b–793

The chemistry of vitamin B12. Part XVI. Binding of thiols to the cobalt(II) corrins, S. Cockle, H.A.O. Hill, S. Ridsdale, R.J.P. Williams, Journal of the Chemical Society, Dalton Transactions, 1972, 297–302

A method of assigning 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectra using europium(III) ion-induced pseudocontact shifts and C-H heteronuclear spin decoupling techniques, B. Birdsall, J. Feeney, J.A. Glasel, R.J.P. Williams, A.V. Xavier, Journal of the Chemical Society D: Chemical Communications, 1971, 1473–1474

Methylation by methyl vitamin B12, G. Agnes, S. Bendle, H.A.O. Hill, F.R. Williams, R.J.P. Williams, Journal of the Chemical Society D: Chemical Communications, 1971, 850–851

Kinetics of substitution of co-ordinated carbanions in cobalt(III) corrinoids, H.A.O. Hill, J.M. Pratt, S. Ridsdale, F.R. Williams, R.J.P. Williams, Journal of the Chemical Society D: Chemical Communications, 1970, 341

Thallium(I) as a potassium probe in biological systems, J.P. Manners, K.G. Morallee, R.J.P. Williams, Journal of the Chemical Society D: Chemical Communications, 1970, 965–966

The lanthanide cations as nuclear magnetic resonance probes of biological systems, K.G. Morallee, E. Nieboer, F.J.C. Rossotti, R.J.P. Williams, A.V. Xavier, R.A. Dwek, Journal of the Chemical Society D: Chemical Communications, 1970, 1132–1133

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