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Journal of Automatic Chemistry
Volume 11 (1989), Issue 5, Pages 212-220

Computer-assisted automatic synthesis II. Development of a fully automated apparatus for preparing substituted N–(carboxyalkyl)amino acids

Central Research Division, Takeda Chemical Industries, Ltd. Juso Honmachi 2-chome, Yodogawa-ku, Osaka 532, Japan

Copyright © 1989 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A versatile automated apparatus, equipped with an artificial intelligence has been developed which may be used to prepare and isolate a wide variety of compounds. The prediction of the optimum reaction conditions and the reaction control in real time, are accomplished using novel kinetic equations and substituent effects in an artificial intelligence software which has already reported [1]. This paper deals with the design and construction of the fully automated system, and its application to the synthesis of a substituted N-(carboxyalkyl)amino acid. The apparatus is composed of units for perfoming various tasks, e.g. reagent supply, reaction, purification and separation, each linked to a control system. All synthetic processes including washing and drying of the apparatus after each synthetic run were automatically performed from the mixing of the reactants to the isolation of the products as powders with purities of greater than 98%. The automated apparatus has been able to run for 24 hours per day, and the average rate of synthesis of substituted N-(carboxyalkyl)amino acids has been three compounds daily. The apparatus is extremely valuable for synthesizing many derivatives of one particular compound structure. Even if the chemical yields are low under the optimum conditions, it is still possible to obtain a sufficient amount of the desired product by repetition of the reaction. Moreover it was possible to greatly reduce the manual involvement of the many syntheses which are a necessary part of pharmaceutical research.