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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S017046/1
Title: 3DSynth: Design and fabrication of cartridges for digital chemical synthesis
Principal Investigator: Cronin, Professor L
Other Investigators:
Miras, Dr H
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: School of Chemistry
Organisation: University of Glasgow
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 July 2019 Ends: 30 June 2024 Value (£): 999,034
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Chemical Synthetic Methodology Co-ordination Chemistry
Design of Process systems Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Chemicals Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
12 Sep 2018 EPSRC Physical Sciences - September 2018 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This project proposes developing a new approach to chemical synthesis by constructing and demonstrating a software-based toolkit aimed specifically at synthetic chemists, allowing them to easily digitise and democratise their synthetic procedures in the form of code used to create multistage reactor systems and proto-type them using 3D printing.

We aim to explore and validate this concept for a range of targets, from organic to inorganic and nano-scale materials. In preliminary studies published in Science (Science 2018, 359, 314-319) earlier this year we have shown that the digitisation of chemical synthesis is possible. In this grant we propose to expand this methodology that is currently allowing individual reaction steps to be be embodied in parametrically defined reactor 'modules'. The modules are then combined into extended, multi-step sequences, enabling us to turn the complex processes of batch chemical synthesis into small scale, on demand, synthesis cartridges. These cartridges can then be accompanied by a validated set of operating instructions which can be carried out either manually or via an automated interface, minimising the time and skill required to effect the synthesis whilst simultaneously maximising the reproducibility.

Using 3D printed reactionware, developed by us in a £10 K 'creativity at home EPSRC project', in conjunction with robotic interfaces for liquid handling, this project will explore how to chemicals can be made in low-resource / limited skill environment after digitisation, aiming at lower costs, greater reproducibility, and vastly expanding the variety of materials available to the end user. Further, we aim that this toolkit can be used to enable mechanistic and material discovery studies by allowing the manipulation of the physical structure of the reactors to constrain the synthetic and reaction parameters vastly decreasing the timescales for customisation and further development.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.gla.ac.uk