Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How Does Aspirin Crystallize?

Date:
December 23, 2006
Source:
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Summary:
"The two crystalline forms of aspirin are so closely related," explain Andrew D. Bond, Roland Boese and Gautam R. Desiraju in Angewandte Chemie, "that they form structures containing domains of both crystal types."

When you get a headache, you probably reach for aspirin. What is giving researchers a headache is the question of the crystal structure of aspirin. Is there another form on top of the long-known one? A team of scientists from Denmark, Germany, and India seems to have solved this controversial puzzle: yes, there is a second structure—but it does not exist as a pure form. “The two crystalline forms of aspirin are so closely related,” explains the research team of Andrew D. Bond, Roland Boese and Gautam R. Desiraju in Angewandte Chemie, “that they form structures containing domains of both crystal types.”

In 2004, computer calculations had indicated that while the long-known crystal structure of aspirin (form I) is definitely one of the most stable forms, another version might exist that is just as stable, though it had not yet been discovered—a clear challenge to researchers in the field. The difference between the proposed structures is slight: both have identical layers containing molecules grouped into pairs, but these layers are arranged differently in the two different structures. In 2005, researchers in the USA announced the discovery of the predicted structure (form II). But was this merely an artifact?

“We can now clear this matter up,” say Bond, Boese and Desiraju, after very careful examination of aspirin crystals. “Aspirin has a tendency to crystallize with an unusual intergrown structure. The same single crystal contains domains with both arrangements lying side by side.” The distribution and ratio of the domains are variable but limited. Whereas a pure form I exists, it has so far only been possible to obtain crystals containing a maximum of 85 % form II. The ratio of the two domains within crystals produced under identical conditions seems to be roughly constant.

This discovery upends fundamental principles and requires new concepts: chemists previously understood “polymorphism” to mean that a molecule can take on one or another packing arrangement in the crystalline state; a single crystal of a specific chemical substance is either one polymorph or the other. Aspirin is the first case in which two different “polymorphic” structures exist in one single crystal. So is aspirin polymorphic or not? Should the definition of polymorphism be updated? Such questions are not just philosophical in nature, but could have tangible implications in patent law, because each polymorph of a compound is viewed as a separate patentable substance.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. "How Does Aspirin Crystallize?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 December 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061223092859.htm>.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. (2006, December 23). How Does Aspirin Crystallize?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061223092859.htm
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. "How Does Aspirin Crystallize?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061223092859.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

AP (July 30, 2014) Smartphone powered paper airplane that was popular on crowdfunding website KickStarter makes its debut at Wisconsin airshow (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.K. To Allow Driverless Cars On Public Roads

U.K. To Allow Driverless Cars On Public Roads

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Driverless cars could soon become a staple on U.K. city streets, as they're set to be introduced to a few cities in 2015. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins