Did You Know That Sunlight Might Be Used To Produce Drugs, Sustainably And Cheaply


A recent article on sciencedaily.com said:

To produce drugs sustainably and cheaply, anywhere you want. Whether in the middle of the jungle or even on Mars. A 'mini-factory' whereby sunlight can be captured to make chemical products. Inspired by the art of nature where leaves are able to collect enough sunlight to produce food, chemical engineers at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) have presented such a scenario. They describe their prototype reactor -- consciously shaped as a leaf -in today's journal Angewandte Chemie.

Using sunlight to make chemical products has long been a dream of many a chemical engineer. The problem is that the available sunlight generates too little energy to kick off reactions. However, nature is able to do this. Antenna molecules in leaves capture energy from sunlight and collect it in the reaction centers of the leaf where enough solar energy is present for the chemical reactions that give the plant its food (photosynthesis).

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This article highlights the scope for developing therapeutics with new innovative, alternative approaches. The current trillion dollar pharmaceutical industry is in peril where the current drug development pipeline is slow, inefficient and incapable of being extended to multi-combination drug therapies as well as minimally focused on prevention. The complex modeling of diseases and biological functions has been limited because of the inability to integrate large-scale molecular pathways.

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