The Cronin Group

Research in the Cronin Group is motivated by the fascination for complex chemical systems, and the desire to construct complex functional molecular architectures that are not based on biologically derived building blocks.


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Chemical MP3 Player Converts Digital Code into Pharmaceuticals

A new method of drug manufacture which uses 3D printers to create pharmaceuticals on demand could lead to a ‘Spotify for chemistry’. In a new paper published January 19th in the journal Science, researchers from the Cronin Group at the University of Glasgow present for the first time a new approach to the manufacture of pharmaceuticals which can be made using a digital code.This code is used by a 3D printer to produce a portable factory, which can then be used to make the drug by adding the chemicals in a pre-defined fail-safe sequence.

This approach could dramatically increase the number of useful drugs available regardless of patent-life, as they will no longer need to be made in a limited number of dedicated manufacturing facilities. In the paper, Cronin Group researchers demonstrate the potential of the system by producing the pharmaceutical Baclofen, a muscle relaxer used to treat muscle symptoms caused by multiple sclerosis, including spasm, pain, and stiffness. The team’s chemical factories are designed using a chemical-to-digital converter to digitise the process so that it can easily be reproduced in a 3D printer, a process which the researchers liken to converting a compact disc to an MP3 file which can then be listened to on any computer or portable music player. With the addition of a simple instruction manual, the drug can be produced when and where it is needed.

University of Glasgow News Story

Link to paper in Science

Video of the process on YouTube

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Prof. Leroy (Lee) Cronin

Prof Leroy (Lee) Cronin
Regius Chair of Chemistry
Cronin Laboratory
School of Chemistry
Joseph Black Building
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QQ
Tel: +44 141 330 6650
Email: lee.cronin@glasgow.ac.uk

Latest Publications

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442. A robotic prebiotic chemist probes long term reactions of complexifying mixtures

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441. Identifying molecules as biosignatures with assembly theory and mass spectrometry

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440. A molecular computing approach to solving optimization problems via programmable microdroplet arrays

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439. Influence of the Contact Geometry and Counterions on the Current Flow and Charge Transfer in Polyoxometalate Molecular Junctions: A Density Functional Theory Study

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438. Elucidating the Paramagnetic Interactions of an Inorganic-Organic Hybrid Radical-Functionalized Mn-Anderson Cluster

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437. Automatic Generation of 3D-Printed Reactionware for Chemical Synthesis Digitization using ChemSCAD

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436. Optimization of Formulations Using Robotic Experiments Driven by Machine Learning DoE

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435. Digitizing Chemistry Using the Chemical Processing Unit: From Synthesis to Discovery

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434. Convergence of multiple synthetic paradigms in a universally programmable chemical synthesis machine

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433. Peptide sequence mediated self-assembly of molybdenum blue nanowheel superstructures


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