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13th March 2018
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3D printed reactors for continuous flow synthesis

The Hilton research group at the School of Pharmacy, UNIQSIS2University College London (UK), has been using a Uniqsis FlowSyn continuous flow reactor system and 3D printed reactor chips to develop a continuous flow approach for the Suzuki-Miyaura reaction. Group head, Stephen Hilton said: ‘The FlowSyn flow reactor was ideal for our needs due to its flexibility, robustness and, in particular, the excellent technical support from the Uniqsis team.

‘One of the challenges of developing and integrating 3D printed reactors into continuous flow synthesis has been the poor solvent compatibility of standard 3D printed plastics such as ABS and PLA. We needed to work with polypropylene, which has been traditionally hard to 3D print due to its tendency to produce poorly resolved objects. Via an iterative approach using an Ultimaker 3D printer, we developed a facile process to 3D print solid, solventresistant objects. The next step was to design and print a reactor, which would fit within the glass column compartment of the Uniqsis continuous flow reactor.

The columns are low cost, can be readily modified, and can be heated to 150°C.’

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