AI powered by a robotic platform automates molecule manufacture
Automating the production of small molecules that could be used in medicine using Artificial intelligence and powered by a robotic platform helps in solar energy, and polymer chemistry. This system is developed by MIT researchers.
Artificial intelligence accompanied by software suggests a route for synthesizing a molecule, then expert chemists review this route and refine it into a chemical “recipe,” and finally this mixture sent to a robotic platform that automatically assembles the hardware and performs the reactions that build the molecule.
Researches have been working for more than three years to develop the open-source software suite that suggests and prioritizes possible synthesis routes.
“It helps makes high-level decisions about what kinds of intermediates and starting materials to use, and then slightly more detailed analyses about what conditions you might want to use and if those reactions are likely to be successful,” says Coley.
Researchers then review the suggested synthesis routes produced by the software to build a more complete recipe for the target molecule. They need to perform lab experiments or tinker with reagent concentrations and reaction temperatures, among other changes.
The final recipe is then loaded on to a platform where a robotic arm assembles modular reactors, separators, and other processing units into a continuous flow path, connecting pumps and lines that bring in the molecular ingredients.
“We desire that next-generation systems will increase further the fraction of time and effort that scientists can focus their efforts on creativity and design.”