Editors' ChoiceChiral Separations

Selecting drugs with peptide networks

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Science  07 Apr 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6333, pp. 38-39
DOI: 10.1126/science.356.6333.38-g

Molecules containing a chiral center exist as enantiomers, or inequivalent mirror images. For drug molecules, purifying the active enantiomer can be critical because the other can have adverse side effects. Navarro-Sánchez et al. synthesized a metal organic framework with Cu(II) centers and peptide linkers (Gly-L-His-Gly) through a slow diffusion process and showed that it can separate the enantiomeric forms of two common drugs, metamphetamine and ephedrine, by selective adsorption. Simulations suggest that hydrogen bonding drives preferential binding. More than 50% of the (+)-ephedrine enantiomer is adsorbed in under 4 min in solid-phase extraction.

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 10.1021/jacs.7b00280 (2017).

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