Safe, sustainable photo-on-demand synthesis of polypeptide precursors: Promising ‘building blocks’ for new functional materials

Animals such as spiders make fibers which are strong and elastic. These fibers have a polypeptide structure and serve as inspiration for research into the development of functional materials. Alpha-amino acid N-Carboxyanhydrides (NCAs) are precursors for artificial polypeptides, however they are difficult to produce. Using the photo-on-demand method that they previously developed, a research group has synthesized NCA in a safe, inexpensive and simple manner from chloroform and amino acid.

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