Cell-Like ‘Molecular Assembly Lines’ of Programmable Reaction Sequences as Game-Changers in Chemical Synthesis


Current state-of-the-art chemical synthesis requires several reaction steps and produces vast amounts of waste, for example 25–100 kg of waste per kg of product for pharmaceutical drugs. This is inefficient and not sustainable.

Our vision is to revolutionise chemical synthesis by eliminating the need for many intermediate reaction steps, resulting in close to zero waste streams and a sustainable, green ‘chemical factory of the future’.

CLASSY team participants at the kick-off meeting in November 2019 at ETH Zürich.

Solution & Innovation

To realise this vision, CLASSY aims to develop a radically new type of chemical reactor inspired by the way in which living systems manage to modulate catalytic activity.

The idea is that these reactors can self-regulate and perform multiple programmable reaction sequences by compartmentalisation of individual steps of the reaction sequence and replication of the molecular effectors that control the reactor’s catalytic activity. The use of microfluidic technology to compartmentalise individual steps of the reaction sequence and replicating molecular effectors to control the reactor activity constitute unique and highly innovative tools toward the project goals.

Read more about CLASSY’s goals and objectives here.

CLASSY will create a new type of flow reactors that act as cell-like molecular assembly lines, being able to synthesise a multitude of complex products in a single chemical reactor. These will have the capability to revolutionise the way chemical products, for example, fine chemicals and pharmaceutical drugs, are manufactured today.

Lear more about CLASSY’s research here.

CLASSY is a EU funded FET-Open project that brings together 5 leading research groups in systems chemistry, peptide replication, complex reaction networks, and peptide/enzyme catalysis. Their expertise will be combined with new microfluidic technology developed by a high-tech SME and expert dissemination and exploitation support from an SME specialised in project management and communication of EU funded projects. This highly interdisciplinary consortium will generate new scientific knowledge and novel technologies to support essential pillars for Europe`s future, such as renewability, sustainability, zero waste emissions and energy efficiency.

Learn more about CLASSY’s researchers and team members here.

[ SAVE THE DATE ] 16th October 2023

Several experts will share their latest research outcomes and address the chances and challenges of cell-free biocatalytic processes and reaction systems. To foster the knowledge exchange between the academic sector and industrial R&D departments, each presentation will be followed by a dedicated Q&A session. The workshop will be closed with a panel discussion concerning the potential applications of the Innovations in the industry.

The CLASSY workshop is free and open to all audiences. Do you want to know more? Check out the programme and register today!