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The Biggest Synthetic Molecule!

“With a diameter of 10 nanometres and a mass equal to 200 million hydrogen atoms, this huge molecule festooned with tree-like appendages, paves the way to sophisticated structures capable of storing drugs within their folds, or bonding to a wide variety of different substances.

Complex macromolecules abound in nature and PG5 is about the same size as tobacco mosaic virus. But making such large molecules in the lab is tough, as they tend to fall apart while they are being made.

“Synthetic chemistry so far was simply not capable of approaching the size range of such functional units,” says Dieter Schlüter at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich. Previously, polystyrene was the largest stable synthetic molecule, at 40 million hydrogen masses.”

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