Combinatorial libraries of heterogeneous catalysts, natural products, modified natural products and their analogues: the way to new biologically active agents

Principal Investigator: Dr Niko Radulovic

            The goals of this project are to: a) synthesize and/or isolate environmentally-friendly compounds (and their mixtures of natural origin) possessing an alpha,beta-unsaturated carbonyl functionality as the potential pharmacophore with a possible application in pharmacy, agronomy and food industry, i.e. the formation of multidimensional spectrally characterized combinatorial libraries (CL) of alpha,beta-unsaturated esters, amides and ketones, their derivatives and synthetic analogues through the use of several target reactions (aldol condensation, (trans)esterification, the formation of amides, Friedel-Crafts acylation), b) improve current methodologies of CL formation by replacing the classical chemical approach with the one that uses reactions that take place over the surface of solid (heterogeneous) catalysts; this green chemistry approach seems much more suited for the purposes of CL creation (catalyst recycling, easier phase separation, solvent-free conditions etc.), i.e. the construction of CL of heterogeneous catalysts (characterized by XRD, SEM, EDX, FTIR, LTN2AD), c) buildup new CL dimensions through the screening of biological activity (antimicrobial, cytotoxic and anticancer), d) develop new approaches to the statistical manipulation of CL dimensions of interest. The project should result in logistical support for the following sequence: waste plant material (selection) - crude extract - eco-friendly transformation of the extract - useful biologically active material.

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