Automated and Accelerated Synthesis of Indole Derivatives on a Nano-Scale

Shabnam Shaabani, Ruixue Xu, Maryam Ahmadianmoghaddam, Li Gao, Martin Stahorsky, Joe Olechno, Richard Ellson, Michael Kossenjans, Victoria Helan, Alexander Dömling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Automated, miniaturized and accelerated synthesis for efficient property optimization is a formidable challenge for chemistry in the 21st century as it helps to reduce resources and waste and can deliver products in shorter time frames. Here, we used for the first-time acoustic droplet ejection (ADE) technology and fast quality control to screen efficiency of synthetic reactions on a nanomole scale in an automated and miniaturized fashion. The interrupted Fischer indole combined with Ugi-type reactions yielded several attractive drug-like scaffolds. In 384-well plates, a diverse set of interrupted Fischer indole intermediates were produced and reacted to the tricyclic hydantoin backbone by a 2-step sequence. Similarly, preformed Fischer indole intermediates were used to produce divers sets of Ugi products and the efficiency was compared to the in-situ method. Multiple reactions were resynthesized on a preparative millimole scale, showing scalability from nano to mg and thus synthetic utility. An unprecedented large number of building was used for fast scope and limitation studies (68 isocyanides, 72 carboxylic acids). Miniaturization and analysis of the generated big synthesis data enabled deeper exploration of the chemical space and permitted gain of knowledge that was previously impractical or impossible, such as the rapid survey of reactions, building block and functional group compatibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-232
Number of pages8
JournalGreen Chemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21-Jan-2019



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