RSC School Seminar - Dr. Carol Hua (Uni Melb)

Title: Supramolecular Chiral Sensors: Investigations with NMR and Fluorescence

Speaker: Dr. Carol Hua


Abstract:  Chirality is prevalent throughout nature with most biologically important molecules being chiral, including DNA, proteins and sugars. The chirality of drug molecules is particularly important as each enantiomer may interact with metabolic and regulatory processes in vastly different ways. This is illustrated by the enantiomers of dopamine; L-dopamine is used to treat Parkinson’s disease whilst D-dopamine elicits neurotoxic side effects. The development of new methods for determining the chiral purity of molecules is of great importance to the pharmaceutical, agrochemical and food industries with 56% of drugs in use consisting of chiral molecules.

Coordination polymers (CPs) and Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) are crystalline materials comprising of inorganic nodes bridged by multidentate ligands to form extended structures. The high porosity and tunability of MOFs enables the systematic modification of pore chemistry and size. Tailored chiral environments can be designed, making these materials well-suited to act as chiral selectors as they can encapsulate guest molecules in a manner similar to natural enzymes. The development of MOFs as analytical chiral sensors and probes is attractive for determining chiral purity due to their simplicity and convenience. This presentation will detail the synthesis of chiral MOFs and their application as chiral probes with solid state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and fluorescence.