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NameMr. Nicholas Lauta
TopicOrganic Chemistry

Utilizing Di-substituted Ketenes in the Production of Biologically Active Molecules with a BINOL Based Catalyst


Nicholas Lauta, Ryan Williams, Dr. Daniel H. Paull

Author Location(s)

Florida Gulf Coast University


The intent of this project is to design a new catalyst based on a BINOL scaffold that can be used to produce biological molecules of interest from di-substituted ketenes. Di-substituted ketene reactions are very difficult to control with selectivity and therefore are not commonly used to produce bioactive targets, while their mono-substituted counterparts are pervasive in this regard. Our catalyst has demonstrated the ability to effectively catalyze select reactions using di-substituted ketenes. A primary target class for these reactions are beta-lactams, which form the core structure of penicillin and all similar antibiotics.

Initial testing of the catalyst has shown promise to provide an easy and efficient method for selectively synthesizing penicillin analogues. The beta-lactam products will be given to our collaborators in the biological sciences at FGCU to be tested for the extent and specificity of their antibiotic character. With bacteria rapidly becoming resistant to antibiotics, improved and more diverse combatants are constantly required. This catalyst also has the potential for numerous other uses that are currently being investigated and will be discussed along with our synthesis of this unique catalyst.