The synthesis of defined carbohydrate structures has traditionally been a laborious process which is complicated by the inherent level of structural complexity in these molecules. This high level of structural diversity can be attributed to:
• the large number of monosaccharide building blocks present in nature
• the presence of branching
• the possibility of two different conformations for each glycosidic linkage
These reasons, among others, have caused the field of automated oligosaccharide synthesis on solid supports to lag behind more developed ones such as the synthesis of oligonucleotides or peptides on solid supports.
Offering the building blocks to make it possible
One of the greatest time constraints in the construction of complex carbohydrates remains the synthesis of monosaccharide building blocks. With these building blocks in hand, chemists can then piece them together to create complex carbohydrate structures. Researchers currently spend up to 90% of their time making these building blocks. However, despite their importance for carbohydrate research, there are currently very few suppliers which sell ready-to-use building blocks for the chemical synthesis of complex carbohydrates. At GlycoUniverse, we plan on offering ready-to-use building blocks that are certified for use with our automated oligosaccharide synthesizer, The Glyconeer®. In this way, we plan on offering all of the tools (the technology, know-how, and materials) that researchers will need to streamline carbohydrate synthesis in their labs.
The image shows the process of automated oligosaccharide synthesis.