N-heterocyclic compounds are the predominant active ingredients of several medicines and serve as crucial building blocks for the development of new organic materials for the energy transition.
A concept for the rational design of new classes of N-heterocyclic compound-related substances is now presented in Nature Communications by researchers at the University of Bayreuth under the direction of Prof. Dr. Rhett Kempe.
They also introduced two new classes of chemicals that were created using this idea. Currently, the development of new classes of substances is crucial for advancements in the realms of medical agents and functional materials.
In addition to carbon atoms, N-heterocycles are organic compounds with ring-shaped structures with at least one nitrogen atom. In terms of their bioactivity and wide range of uses, the already recognized classes of substances that belong to the category of N-heterocyclic compounds are already highly established scientifically.
They are, therefore, not thought to have much of a significant future-oriented innovation potential, for example, in the pharmaceutical industry.
For chemistry to continue to fulfill its pioneering role in drug development, it will be less important to provide new examples of known substance classes. Rather, the discovery of new classes of substances will be crucial. However, this is very difficult and still tends to succeed by chance.
Dr. Rhett Kempe, Chair, Inorganic Chemistry II-Catalyst Design, University of Bayreuth
Dr. Kempe added, “Concepts for the rational design of new substance classes—that is, for a targeted design of molecular compounds based on chemical knowledge—are practically non-existent. Against this background, the concept we have developed for the rational design of N-heterocyclic substance classes is a promising way to develop new drugs and new functional materials.”
Young Bayreuth Scientists Give Names to New Classes of Substances
The fertigines, named after the study’s first author Robin Fertig, and the kunstlerines, named after the study’s second author Felix Leowsky-Künstler, are two new N-heterocyclic substance classes that the Bayreuth research team has developed using this new concept. At the University of Bayreuth, both of these young researchers are presently enrolled in doctoral programs.
Expanding the group of N-heterocyclic compounds by rational design to include new, previously unknown classes of substances was a fascinating undertaking. In the process, we have seen that chemistry is, at its core, a very creative science.
Robin Fertig, Study First Author and Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Bayreuth
Felix Leowsky-Künstler, the tudy’s second author, stated, “The concept now opens up new possibilities for the synthesis of chemical compounds that were previously difficult or impossible to access.”
Fertig, R., et al. (2023) Rational design of N-heterocyclic compound classes via regenerative cyclization of diamines. Nature Communications. doi:10.1038/s41467-023-36220-w.