A Robotic Platform for Flow Synthesis of Organic Compounds Informed by AI Planning

Science (365)6453, DOI: 10.1126/science.aax1566

The ability to synthesize complex organic molecules is essential to the discovery and manufacture of functional compounds, including small-molecule medicines. Despite advances in laboratory automation, the identification and development of synthetic routes remain a manual process and experimental synthesis platforms must be manually configured to suit the type of chemistry to be performed, requiring time and effort investment from expert chemists. The ideal automated synthesis platform would be capable of planning its own synthetic routes and executing them under conditions that facilitate scale-up to production goals. Individual elements of the chemical development process (design, route development, experimental configuration, and execution) have been streamlined in previous studies, but none has presented a path toward integration of computer-aided synthesis planning (CASP), expert refined chemical recipe generation, and robotically executed chemical synthesis.