Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chemist develops technique to use light to predict molecular crystal structures

Date:
March 24, 2011
Source:
Syracuse University
Summary:
Chemists have developed a way to use very low frequency light waves to study the weak forces (London dispersion forces) that hold molecules together in a crystal.

Timothy Korter has developed a way to use very low frequency light waves to study the weak forces (London dispersion forces) that hold molecules together in a crystal. This fundamental research could be applied to solve critical problems in drug research, manufacturing and quality control.
Credit: Image courtesy of Syracuse University

A Syracuse University chemist has developed a way to use very low frequency light waves to study the weak forces (London dispersion forces) that hold molecules together in a crystal. This fundamental research could be applied to solve critical problems in drug research, manufacturing and quality control.

The research by Timothy Korter, associate professor of chemistry in SU's College of Arts and Sciences, was the cover article of the March 14 issue of Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.

"When developing a drug, it is important that we uncover all of the possible ways the molecules can pack together to form a crystal," Korter says. "Changes in the crystal structure can change the way the drug is absorbed and accessed by the body."

One industry example is that of a drug distributed in the form of a gel capsule that crystallized into a solid when left on the shelf for an extended period of time, Korter explains. The medication inside the capsule changed to a form that could not dissolve in the human body, rendering it useless. The drug was removed from shelves. This example shows that it is not always possible for drug companies to identify all the variations of a drug's crystal structure through traditional experimentation, which is time consuming and expensive.

"The question is," Korter says, "can we leverage a better understanding of London and other weak intermolecular forces to predict these changes in crystal structure?"

Korter's lab is one of only a handful of university-based research labs in the world exploring the potential of THz radiation for chemical and pharmaceutical applications. THz light waves exist in the region between infrared radiation and microwaves and offer the unique advantages of being non-harmful to people and able to safely pass through many kinds of materials. THz can also be used to identify the chemical signatures of a wide range of substances. Korter has used THz to identify the chemical of signatures of molecules ranging from improvised explosives and drug components to the building blocks of DNA.

Korter's new research combines THz experiments with new computational models that accurately account for the effects of the London dispersion forces to predict crystal structures of various substances. London forces are one of several types of intermolecular forces that cause molecules to stick together and form solids. Environmental changes (temperature, humidity, light) impact the forces in ways that can cause the crystal structure to change. Korter's research team compares the computer models with the THz experiments and uses the results to refine and improve the theoretical models.

"We have demonstrated how to use THz to directly visualize these chemical interactions," Korter says. "The ultimate goal is to use these THz signatures to develop theoretical models that take into account the role of these weak forces to predict the crystal structures of pharmaceuticals before they are identified through experimentation."

A National Science Foundation Early Career Development (CAREER) Award funds Korter's research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Syracuse University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Matthew D. King, William D. Buchanan, Timothy M. Korter. Application of London-type dispersion corrections to the solid-state density functional theory simulation of the terahertz spectra of crystalline pharmaceuticals. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 2011; 13 (10): 4250 DOI: 10.1039/C0CP01595D

Cite This Page:

Syracuse University. "Chemist develops technique to use light to predict molecular crystal structures." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110323140142.htm>.
Syracuse University. (2011, March 24). Chemist develops technique to use light to predict molecular crystal structures. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110323140142.htm
Syracuse University. "Chemist develops technique to use light to predict molecular crystal structures." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110323140142.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) An electric car that proponents hope will replace horse-drawn carriages in New York City has also been revealed at the auto show. (Apr. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. 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