Chemical technology

Chemical technology is about making large numbers of similar compounds to test as possible medicines.

Chemical technologists (sometimes called combinatorial chemists) use robotic or automated techniques to make many different, though often structurally related, chemical compounds in a single process.

Very small quantities of each compound are produced. They are then compiled into compound libraries, with information of each stored in a database. 

Within the field of drug discovery, this would usually be followed by high-throughput screening. This is a technique which enables thousands to millions of tests to be conducted on the compounds, using robotics and computer software, very quickly. These tests aim to establish which molecules show activity, and hence may be used within drug design.

Once active compounds have been discovered, larger quantities are prepared by a synthetic organic chemist to enable further studies to be carried out.

Last modified: 20 October 2023

Last reviewed: 20 October 2023