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HKBU scientists eliminate drug side effects by manipulating molecular chirality

Dr Huang
Dr Jeffery Huang Zhifeng
Associate Professor, Department of Physics

Dr Jeffery Huang Zhifeng, Associate Professor in the Department of Physics, and his research team have developed a novel approach that can produce pure therapeutic drugs without the associated side effects.


The approach, which uses a nanostructure fabrication device, can manipulate the chirality of drug molecules by controlling the direction a substrate is rotated within the device, thus eliminating the possible side effects that can arise when people take drugs containing molecules with the incorrect chirality. 

Published in the renowned international scientific journal Nature Chemistry, the research findings pave the way towards the mass production of purer, cheaper and safer drugs that can be made in a scalable and more environmentally-friendly way.


“Our success in manipulating molecular chirality through macroscopic engineering allows the convenient synthesis of drugs in single-enantiomer forms with only left- or right-handedness. Hence, it will help get rid of the adverse, sometimes fatal, side effects of many therapeutic drugs,” said Dr Huang.  


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