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
Advanced Research Centre (ARC)
Level 5, Digital Chemistry
University of Glasgow
11 Chapel Lane
Glasgow G11 6EW
Tel: +44 141 330 6650
Email: lee.cronin@glasgow.ac.uk

Latest Publications

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476. An artificial intelligence enabled chemical synthesis robot for exploration and optimization of nanomaterials

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475. An autonomous portable platform for universal chemical synthesis

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474. Robotic synthesis of peptides containing metal-oxide-based amino acids

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473. Selection of assembly complexity in a space of tetrapeptides

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472. Digitization and validation of a chemical synthesis literature database in the ChemPU

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471. Formalising the pathways of life to using assembly spaces

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470. Engineering Highly Reduced Molybdenum Polyoxometalates via the Incorporation of d and f Block Metal Ions

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469. Effective Storage of Electrons in Water by the Formation of Highly Reduced Polyoxometalate Clusters

468. A Probabilistic Chemical Programmable Computer

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467. Digitizing Chemical Synthesis in 3D Printed Reactionware


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