Research Article

Organic synthesis in a modular robotic system driven by a chemical programming language

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Science  11 Jan 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6423, eaav2211
DOI: 10.1126/science.aav2211

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Clear directions for a robotic platform

The chemistry literature contains more than a century's worth of instructions for making molecules, all written by and for humans. Steiner et al. developed an autonomous compiler and robotic laboratory platform to synthesize organic compounds on the basis of standardized methods descriptions (see the Perspective by Milo). The platform comprises conventional equipment such as round-bottom flasks, separatory funnels, and a rotary evaporator to maximize its compatibility with extant literature. The authors showcase the system with short syntheses of three common pharmaceuticals that proceeded comparably to manual synthesis.

Science, this issue p. eaav2211; see also p. 122