Life Science & Biochemistry

Life science & biochemistry from abcr

Life ScienceLife Science

Life science deals with fundamental structures and processes of living beings and is applied in these research fields:

  • biology and biochemistry
  • medicine
  • diagnostics
  • pharmacology
  • food chemistry
  • bioinformatics
  • dental technology

A broad spectrum of analytical methods and analysis options including imaging procedures are used. PET tomography in nuclear medicine is one example. PET tomography provides sectional images of living organisms. Life science often has an interdisciplinary approach, which can also include human and social sciences.

abcr provides highly pure biochemical reagents and solvents for analytics, which are especially used for various chromatography methods. In the process, ligands bond to biomolecules that are to be separated. Ligands are also linked to the stationary phase of chromatography columns in the form of resins. A problem arises during purification and concentration by means of chromatography separation processes: the steric hindrance of large molecules and the ligands bound to the solid phase. Spacers or linkers are used in order to avoid this problem as these act as an extended arm between the solid phase and the ligand. The ligand is thereby more easily accessible for the molecule that is to be purified.

Electrophoresis methods for DNA molecules, proteins and amino acids with subsequent immune detection or simple colouring methods are used for identifying and purifying biomolecules. Fluorophores can be used in a versatile manner, e.g. as tracers and fluorescence markers in order to visualise certain structural units. Fluorophores act as fluorogenic substrates for enzymes, which makes it possible to measure their activity. They are often bound covalently to a target molecule through chemical coupling or bioorthogonal marking. The target molecule can thereby be traced in the application.

Natural substances or biomolecules provide important basic building blocks for pharmaceutical research and industries for the discovery of new effective substances (new chemical entities). For example, beta blockers and other pharmaceuticals can be produced from achiral amino alcohols. Enzymes as biocatalysts are used for the enantioselective production of pharmaceutically active molecules. Natural forms of vitamins and their derivatives as well as analogues are used in research as a therapy approach and support. Highly pure oleic acids act as key intermediates for lipids for the production of creams, salves and excipients for active agents. Amino acids, nucleobases, carbohydrates and steroids form molecular lead structures. Libraries for potential active agents can be formed from these. Active agents include antibiotics, inhibitors and substrates for enzymes, receptor antagonists, synthetically produced steroids and other pharmacologically active substances (API). Both naturally occurring and synthetically produced, unnatural amino acids and their derivatives are used in many areas of biology, e.g. as an essential component of nutritional media for cell cultures. Amino acid derivatives can be used in various ways:

  • for the structural clarification of proteins,
  • as excipients and stabilisers in medicine and as
  • synthetic peptide hormones and antibiotics.

abcr also often provides peptidomimetics, which offers a somewhat simpler structure, better pharmacokinetic effects and greater stability in the organisms.

Simple condensation of two amino acids is not possible for targeted peptide synthesis. Special reagents are required for peptide synthesis. The remaining functional groups must be blocked with protection groups for the targeted linking of the amino group of the first amino acid with the carboxyl group of the second amino acid. Often BOC, Cbz or Fmoc-protected amino acids are used. Their amino groups cannot react as a result. The necessary activation of the carboxyl groups is achieved with the application of dicyclohexylcarbodiimide (DCC). Protected amino acids are released from their protection groups if the desired dipeptide has been produced. Synthetically produced peptides are used in medical research as substrates and inhibitors for certain enzymes and as antigens in immunology. Inhibitors are used in pharmacology in order to inhibit enzymatic reactions. In the field of microbiology, bacterial growth can be suppressed with these inhibitors.

Taking nature as an example, click chemistry was developed as a synthesis strategy in order to selectively produce active agent libraries in a more efficient manner. The motivation was to focus more on the function than the structure. Click chemistry represents an alternative to protracted and cost-intensive carbonyl chemistry for the discovery and development of active agents. Special focus is on the heteroatom links of the primary metabolites as these represent the basic units of polypeptides, polysaccharides and polynucleotides. Click chemistry uses strongly thermodynamic driving forces in order to selectively provide a wholly implemented product. The following reactions are examples:

  • Cycloadditions of unsaturated compounds such as alkenes, alkynes or nitriles with azides,
  • Nucleophilic opening of tensioned rings such as epoxides, aziridines, aziridinium ions and episulfinium ions

Non-aldol-like carbonyl reactions provide aromatic heterocycles, oximes, hydrazones, amides and thiourea.

Furthermore, the question arises in the field of pharmacology how active agents can reach and only unfurl their effect at the specific action site. Various transport systems are being developed in drug delivery, especially with respect to absorption, distribution and degradation in the body and the type of release.

Antioxidants are indispensable for the pharmaceutical, cosmetics and foodstuffs industry as these prevent the oxidative degradation of oxygen-sensitive molecules. These additives are also used in the plastics industry as they are to prevent the degradation of products and stabilise these. Radical scavengers arrest uncontrolled chain reactions by forming inert and stable radicals. By means of reductants, the protected substances in hydrophilic matrices are not oxidized since the used antioxidant is preferred for oxidation.