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Book Review Combinatorial Library Methods and Protocols. Edited by Lisa Bellavance English

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Combinatorial Library
Methods and
Protocols. Edited
by Lisa Bellavance
English. (Series:
Methods in
Molecular Biology, Vol. 201;
series editor:
John M. Walker.)
Humana Press,
Totowa 2002. 383
pp., hardcover
$ 99.50.—ISBN
The synthesis and screening of combinatorial libraries of substances has
become increasingly important in the
last few years. Alongside the scientific
developments that are taking place in
this field, equally important advances in
the technology are also being achieved.
Lisa Bellavance English, as editor of the
book Combinatorial Library—Methods
and Protocols, presents here a very
practically orientated survey of new
techniques in this broad field. For this
project she has succeeded in bringing
together more than 20 authors from
industry and academia, and here they
report authoritatively on different
aspects of combinatorial chemistry in
21 chapters, which are divided into three
major parts.
The first part describes the synthesis
of compound libraries and the appropriate quality control measures. Each
chapter contains a short overview of the
relevant theory followed by a very
detailed description of the practical
implementation, sometimes including
very basic elementary aspects, such as
the warning that “methanol and ethyl
acetate are highly inflammable”. DifferAngew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2003, 42, 2215 – 2217
ent techniques are described and compared, such as the mix-and-split method,
and the use of special equipment for
automated synthesis of libraries, and
therefore the book is especially useful
as an aid to decisions about buying new
equipment or as a guide for chemists
who are about to begin synthesizing
compound libraries.
The second part deals with the
purification and subsequent screening
of compound libraries. The main
emphasis in these chapters is on the
various techniques used in combinatorial chemistry. For example, they
describe in detail methods for testing
chiral column packing materials, and
appropriate extraction and screening
methods both for compounds immobilized on supports and for compounds in
The third part is concerned with the
increasingly important subject of designing computer-generated libraries. Different methods for generating virtual
libraries are described, as well as a
screening method that can be applied
to these.
The bibliographies provided at the
ends of the chapters are comprehensive
and impressively up-to-date, including
publications up to and including 2001.
The pressure to ensure that these are as
up-to-date as possible may explain the
differences between chapters in the style
of their graphics, and the fact that some
of the drawings are of very poor quality
(e.g., pp. 4, 6). Also the drawings on
pages 145 – 147 were incompletely
printed in the reviewer1s copy.
Everyone working in the area of
combinatorial chemistry will find that
this book provides a good survey of the
entire field and also, very importantly,
some excellent working protocols. Of
course one should not expect a book of
383 pages to provide exhaustive coverage of combinatorial chemistry and
research on pharmacologically active
agents, and for that purpose one should
perhaps rely on larger and more comprehensive works, such as the recently
published Handbook of Combinatorial
Chemistry by Nicolaou, Hanko, and
Hartwig (see Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.
2002, 41, 4145). Nevertheless, Combinatorial Library—Methods and Protocols
is an excellent work that covers many
important aspects, gives easy access to
literature for further study, and contains
much practical advice. As it describes
many different tools and techniques it is
especially suitable for beginners in combinatorial chemistry, and deserves to be
added to the list of well presented works
in this field (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2001,
40, 255).
Kerstin Knepper, Stefan Brse
Kekulé-Institut f6r Organische Chemie
und Biochemie
Universit:t Bonn (Germany)
Dendrimers and other Dendritic
By Jean M. J.
Fréchet and
Donald A. Tomalia. John Wiley &
Sons, New York
2001. 647 pp.,
£ 195.00.—ISBN
Molecules with cascade-branched (treelike) structures are currently a booming
area of research. The term “dendritic
polymers” includes both the perfectly
branched dendrimers prepared in multistep syntheses and the randomly
branched (“hyperbranched”) polymers.
Such materials have become the subject
of intensive research efforts in a broad
community of scientists, in fields ranging
from synthetic chemistry to polymer
physics and medicine. Swept along by
the enthusiasm for dendrimers in recent
years, the interest in hyperbranched
polymers has also been rising steadily
due to their convenient accessibility in a
single synthetic step. In addition, besides
the classical star polymers, other macromolecular topologies with only a few
deliberately incorporated branching
points have recently been developed.
Two of the pioneers in this exciting
area, Jean Fréchet and Don Tomalia, as
editors of the book Dendrimers and
other Dendritic Polymers, have set out to
give an overview of the synthesis, prop-
B 2003 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
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book, protocol, method, bellavance, edited, combinatorics, lisah, review, English, library
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