The Nobel science that will change the world: “Snap chemistry”

There are five scientists who are part of the group that has won a Nobel, the last one being Barry Sharpless, who came from Co-father of “Snap Chemistry”.


What is Snap Chemistry?


It is a way of joining molecules as if they were Lego pieces, even in a “chaotic” environment, two molecules can meet, recognize each other, connect, using the “click” mechanism.


For example, if two people meet and shake hands, this is a metaphor that can define a classic chemical reaction, but what if two people want to shake hands at a concert and are separated by the crowd?


In one click


The way the chemistry of clicks binds together, for example, molecular building blocks is often compared to Lego bricks. Carolyn Bertozzi, who shared the Nobel Prize in chemistry with Barry Sharpless and Morten Meldal, mentions that two very special bricks are necessary for them to be able to hook together even if they are at different points.


All thanks to the copper


Sharpless and Meldal discovered in 2000 that two copper ions used as a catalyst can produce a specific chemical reaction, and this was the beginning of everything.


From this discovery began to explore and investigate the possible types of molecular architecture that these “special bricks” can be built with different chemical products, to later discover that the applications are almost infinite creating snap chemistry.


Problems and solutions


Copper can be toxic to the cells of living organisms, which was a very big problem to be able to do research about Snap Chemistry, using copper as a catalyst was the main problem, since this not only affects and is toxic only to some living organisms but also for humans.


Carolyn Bertozzi, for this very reason, made the decision to design a way to exploit snap chemistry without using copper, making this not a problem for living organisms or humans and for research to continue.


A new era


Many people and even experts question whether it is not too early for Barry Sharpless to receive a second Nobel, considering that this young science is still in process and has not yet found commercial applications.


However, it can be taken into account that this award is from total enthusiasm, the beginning of this since snap chemistry is seen to have a very promising future.


What Snap Chemistry is for?


There are many topics to deal with to discover the functionalities of snap chemistry, for example, one of the uses that it can have has to do with medicine, producing drugs that can “make their way” into the patient’s body and reach their destination. correct to attack the disease, which can help combat the side effects of any medication.


Another use that has been found is that it has been possible to produce very durable polymers that protect against heat or glues for nanochemistry, or even that the bacteria that cause legionella are fluorescent, and that in water reserves they can be easier to identify.