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5:45 PM  April 22, 2019

TPU developed new method of searching for dangerous molecules in drugs

© Валерий ДоронинTPU developed new method of searching for dangerous molecules in drugs

TOMSK, Apr 22 – RIA Tomsk. Scientists of Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU), together with Czech colleagues, developed a new express method for searching in medications of dangerous "mirror" molecules, which allows them to be detected using a special mobile application, the press service of TPU said on Monday.

What are "mirror" molecules

It is explained that the so-called "mirror" molecules - enantiomers - are molecules with the same formula and physical properties, but they have different directions of rotation of the polarization light, so they are like mirror reflections of each other. One enantiomer in medicinal compounds can be beneficial, and the second one can be harmful.

They talked about their dangers in the middle of the twentieth century. At that time, pregnant women in Europe, Australia and the United States were actively taking Thalidomide sleeping pills. Later it turned out that the drug was the cause of congenital malformations in children. One of the enantiomers provided the effect of the drug, and the second was introduced into the DNA and interfered with the development of the embryo. "Thalidomid tragedy" has forced many countries to reconsider the practice of drugs licensing.

New express method

With reference to the graduate student of Research School of Chemistry & Applied Biomedical Sciences of TPU and University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague, Olga Guselnikova it is reported that the medications currently produced on the market must be enantiomerically pure, or it must be proved that all enantiomers do not harm the body.

"In order to quickly and effectively detect enantiomers in drugs, scientists suggested to use sensors based on gold plates with a modified surface, a specially written mobile application and a portable Raman spectrometer. According to the researchers, this approach could be an alternative to traditional expensive chromatography", - is said in the statement.

As sensors for enantiomers scientists suggested to use small gold plates - 1x2 square centimeters. The surface of these plates is undulating. Researchers have “grafted” tartaric acid molecules on it, which itself is an enantiomer.

“It’s enough to drop a solution of a substance on the plate we want to study ... A drop forms on the surface. The wetting angle of this drop, that is, how much it spreads over the surface, can tell us how much this or that enantiomer contains this compound”, - says Guselnikova. .

Special mobile application for a smartphone, which analyzes the wetting angle from a photo, was developed by scientists of University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague. The more convex a drop, the smaller the corresponding enantiomer in it, and the flatter is, then on the contrary, it is more, adds the press service.

It is also reported that the results of the research published in the ACS Sensors journal.

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