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Molecules. 2020 Jan 15;25(2). pii: E356. doi: 10.3390/molecules25020356.

Continuous Flow Photochemistry for the Preparation of Bioactive Molecules.

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School of Chemistry, University College Dublin, Science Centre South, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.


The last decade has witnessed a remarkable development towards improved and new photochemical transformations in response to greener and more sustainable chemical synthesis needs. Additionally, the availability of modern continuous flow reactors has enabled widespread applications in view of more streamlined and custom designed flow processes. In this focused review article, we wish to evaluate the standing of the field of continuous flow photochemistry with a specific emphasis on the generation of bioactive entities, including natural products, drugs and their precursors. To this end we highlight key developments in this field that have contributed to the progress achieved to date. Dedicated sections present the variety of suitable reactor designs and set-ups available; a short discussion on the relevance of greener and more sustainable approaches; and selected key applications in the area of bioactive structures. A final section outlines remaining challenges and areas that will benefit from further developments in this fast-moving area. It is hoped that this report provides a valuable update on this important field of synthetic chemistry which may fuel developments in the future.


bioactive molecules; continuous flow chemistry; enabling technologies; medicinal chemistry; photocatalysis; photochemistry; process development

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