Chemistry 3D Printer That Can Create Molecules

Need a rare medical compound? This machine invented by Martin Burke can print it. He is working at the University of Illinois and his cutting-edge technology will open up a wider range of knowledge and exploration for botanists, scientists, and researchers. This machine is capable of printing miniscule medical compounds and molecules found in plants by synthesizing thousands upon thousands of tiny molecules.

Unleashing never-before-discovered molecules and compounds could make great gains in science and medicine and may help us find new drugs at record speed. Not only that, but this machine can help chemists create brand-new chemicals that are associated with the existing compound. The machine can be used in medical tests to see what kinds of properties could be beneficial for humans, as well as plants.

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It starts with a molecular foundation and catalyzes chemical reactions to build molecules as easily as a child stacks blocks. Through a systematic, step-by-step process, those chemical reactions create new chemicals, some of which have never been made before. If we can’t find a certain chemical in nature, then we will just have to make it with this clean, mean, molecule machine.

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Synthesis of many different types of organic small molecules using one automated process - In Science Magazine

By Junqi Li, Steven G. Ballmer, Eric P. Gillis, Seiko Fujii, Michael J. Schmidt, Andrea M. E. Palazzolo, Jonathan W. Lehmann, Greg F. Morehouse, Martin D. Burke†

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Oct. 22, 2021